TODAY -

Nagaland Government 'forcibly' celebrates Hornbill Festival in our land, alleges Tungjoy VA
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, December 08 2019: Tungjoy Village Authority Council has alleged that despite strong protests and repeated complaints not to organize the Hornbill festival (People's Festival of Khezhakeno) at Tungjoy village under Senapati District, Nagaland Government forcibly organized the festival at Anyothro, which falls under the jurisdiction of Tungjoy village.

A press statement issued by the Tungjoy Village Authority Council stated that though they (Nagaland Government) presumed that the Hornbill festival aims at bringing unity, peace and harmony amongst the villagers of Tungjoy and Khezhakeno.

However, in contrast to their concept, the festival (People's Festival of Khezhakeno) created misunderstanding, division and social disharmony between the two villages, it contended.

These activities of Nagaland Govt cannot be perceived as a sign of good gesture by Tungjoy villagers, it said and questioned if the festival is celebrated to grab the land belonging to other people during this festival.

The statement also contended that Tungjoy village has a well-defined boundary with all the neighbouring villages since its establishment.

The inter-village boundary of Tungjoy and Khezhakeno village is stated to be located at Ziri.

The word is derived from a compound syllables where "ZI" means blood and "RI" means cut where the literal meaning of ZIRI is derived from cutting of a cat and dripping of its blood into the stream, it said and added the act of cutting a cat was agreed upon to carry out at the boundary of the two villages where the ZIRI boundary would be the same for the two villages at all time to come.

It also said that the practice was reportedly executed with a solemn vow to put an end to the practice of age-old head hunting between the two villages to usher in an era of peace and harmony.

The act of cutting a live cat was to signify that if any village violates the pledge then they shall die as much as the number of hairs of the cat, it continued adding that the two villages cannot deny the sacrificial ritualistic performance of that day.

Based on the temporary demarcation of 1872 of the colonial rule, Tungjoy villagers stated that people of Khezhakeno village started claiming the land and put the present spot of the celebration of Hornbill festival into a disputed land of the two villages, it alleged.

The boundary of Tungjoy village is reportedly bounded with Khezhakeno village at Ziri in the west and Leshemi village at Adaichiidu in the north.

The act of bringing some non-existent entity into the picture of the so-called disputed land is nothing but a mockery, it added.

Reacting to the claim made by one Minister of Nagaland on December 3, 2019 in Nagaland Post which says that the site that the Nagaland Government planned to use for the festival belongs to the Nagaland and there is no dispute between the two sides and the pillar was erected during the British time, it questioned who, when and why was the pillar erected and what is the significance attached to that pillar.

It is quite ironical to note that the concerned Minister and his team stated that the land dispute was a settled case, while on the other hand they said that the case has to be settled amicably and the villagers have to live peacefully as a good neighbour, it added.

Asking the logic behind their statements, it questioned the significance of the case decision of the documents such as "Political Case No 41 of 1934, decision given by JH Hutton, Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills and GP Stewart, president Manipur State Darbar"; Political Case No 6 of 1950, decision given by SC Kagti, Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills and Phukon, Deputy Commissioner, Manipur State on May 16 1952"; "Political Case No 4 of 1966, decision given by Commissioner, Lanye Division Japfu State, Federal Government of Nagaland"; "Political Case No.-2/78, directed by AM Gokhale, IAS DM/DC Phek District Nagaland on May 10 1978" and "Joint enquiry report of KD Aliba, RP Kuzha Sub-Region and LH Dahrii, RP Paomata Sub-Region Federal Government of Nagaland on January 1 1992" .

In response to the press statement issued by president, Lhuvesayi Lohe and the general secretary Medovelo Sono of the Chakhesang Youth Front (CYF), the people of Tungjoy stated that they enjoy a good relationship with all the neighbouring Chakhesang villages, but, are shocked when CYF brand them with phrases like "utterly despicable, devious and cowardly acts, miscreant, perpetrator, out of sheer jealousy, envy and animosity, utmost seriousness direct challenge to the lives and property of Chakhesang community, met with full force and befitting reply will be made, totally befall".

Saying that Tungjoy villagers would have appreciated them if they play the role of a mediator, it added that their involvement in the land dispute is not fair.

It then appealed the volunteers of CYF not to be swayed away by mere emotion.

Condemning the statement made by one Senovielhou Koza, who identified himself to be the president of Khezhakeno Youth Organisation that he would cut off the head of the Tungjoy people apart from warning that another theatre of civil war is eminent, it added that Tungjoy Village Authority considered his statement as a challenge to the Tungjoy people.

In spite of repeated objections not to organize the Hornbill festival in their jurisdiction, the Nagaland Government forcibly celebrated the festival at the site, it stated and reasoned that the Tungjoy villagers reportedly torched 10 thatch houses at the site to protect their land.

Saying that both the State Governments have reportedly passed an order on several occasions restricting the Tungjoy and Khezhakeno villages not to enter the disputed land till an amicable solution is reached, it claimed that Nagaland Government posted an NAP Camp and carried out many activities, apart from celebrating Hornbill festival.

Tungjoy Village Authority Council asserted that they are ready to face any eventuality to safeguard their land.


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