A motorcycle being burnt down during the clashes in Chassad village of Manipur’s Kamjong district earlier  Credit: File image
Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) president Hopingson A Shimray addressing the media on Tuesday

Ukhrul: A couple of days after clashes erupted in Manipur’s Kamjong district over a land dispute between Chassad and Sampui villages, Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) president Hopingson A Shimray on Tuesday appealed the public not to turn the inter-village feud into a communal issue.

Speaking at a press conference at TNL’s office in Ukhrul district, Shimray termed the recent Chassad incident as an unfortunate one. “However, it should not be escalated as a communal kind of violence that has taken place in the past and such history should not be repeated,” he said.

“It is very sad and unfortunate that the incident took place between the two neighbouring villages. We never thought and anticipated that such a thing would take place,” the leader of the Tangkhul apex body informed the media persons.

“Good sense should prevail and the matter should be resolved peacefully, amicably and in a way that will be satisfactory and honourable to both the parties,” he added.

As informed by Shimray, a series of events took place in the area earlier related to an unresolved land dispute between the two villages, leading to the recent violence.

“What we have seen and heard on the news and social media was that an inferno was taking place. But even before that, there was a series of events taking place that culminated in the Chassad incident,” said Shimray.

According to him, the land which is claimed and owned by Sampui village was allegedly used by Chassad locals for jhum cultivation, by cutting down trees and clearing the jungle.

On March 15, the jhum fields were set on fire by unknown miscreants, leading to more chaos, he said.

While pointing out to the apprehension of violent reactions in some isolated areas inhabited either by the Tangkhuls or the Kukis, Shimray also prayed that no such things should take place at this juncture on communal lines.

Shimray also refuted the accusations that Chassad incident was triggered on the behest of and active participation by NSCN-IM members.

“I want to clarify this incident for all that it was done by a mob of Kamjong village and not a single NSCN-IM cadre was involved. And this is also clearly known by brothers of Chassad,” the TNL president said.

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“Let us not malign some organisation for the unfortunate incident and give bad remark that is not palatable,” he added while appealing people to restrain from using inflammatory words.

Angry mob allegedly burnt down an under-construction petrol pump in Chassad village of Manipur’s Kamjong district

Earlier, the Kamjong district administration imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the district headquarters to prevent any untoward incidents after clashes erupted between two communities in Chassad village.

The Kamjong district magistrate’s order came after the situation turned volatile on Sunday. As per reports, the jhum fields of a local villager was burnt down by unknown persons in Chassad village. In retaliation, angry locals set an under-construction petrol pump owned by a local belonging to another community. Some workers at the petrol pump were also reportedly beaten up, said reports.

Later, as per reports, Chassad locals stopped passenger vehicles along the village. Unidentified youths also threw stones at village elders who were on their way for a meeting over the issue.

The situation, however, was brought under control

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