TODAY -
SFs in Sajik not free from threats
Source: The Sangai Express

New Delhi, September 15, 2009: Though it has been six years since the army flushed out insurgents from Sajik Tampak area, security forces deployed in the area are still facing threats from them.

On the other hand, the local villagers are still thankful of the Gelnel bridge constructed by insurgents.

The existing threats to security forces were discovered during a spot assessment conducted by a team of media persons to see the changes brought about in Sajik Tampak area after insurgents were flushed out in 2004.

Security forces put up a bunker in a house at a Sajik village


Even as security forces claimed that UG cadres earlier taking shelter in Sajik Tampak and surrounding areas have been completely driven off, there have been attacks on the security posts established there on several occasions.

The latest attack came in the morning of September 13, when well armed PLA cadres attacked the 8th AR post at Aigejang.

Because of the PLA's attack, a team of Assam Rifles, citing security reasons, attempted to prevent the media team from visiting Aigejang village.

The AR team also briefed the media persons about the situation prevailing in the area.

However, under intense pressure from the media team, they were finally allowed to visit Aigejang village after a telephonic talk with the commanding officer of the AR battalion.

The media team was accompanied by two AR personnel in civilian fatigues.

Bunkers and camps of Assam Rifles similar to those of battle-front, were seen at Aigejang village, inhabited by 170 people only.

On hearing about the heavy firing at about 6 am of September 13 at the 8th AR post at Denbung hills, located just above Aigejang village, the villagers took shelter at safer places, some villagers conveyed to the media team.

The AR team staying at the village also opened fire on hearing the firing, they said.

Saying that they could not observe any sign of casualty on the part of security forces, the villagers said that three truck loads of Assam Rifles came to the village when the gun-battle broke out.

AR officials said that the UG cadres were firing from long range and there was no casualty on the part of security forces.

In a bid to differentiate between UG cadres and the villagers, any villager going for work in far off places was given a token by Assam Rifles.

Without this token, no villager can venture outside.

Even as security forces have wrested control of Sajik Tampak and surrounding areas after a sustained military operation, the State Government has not initiated any development work in the last four years other than some medicines provided by security forces from time to time.

The villagers said that the bridge built at Gelnel by insurgents across the road leading to Sajik Tampak was a boon to them.

Whether insurgents were there or not, no kind of development activity has been initiated by the Government in the area.

In the aftermath of the operation, the Sajik Tampak Jr High School had been completely shut down since it was occupied by army.

There was no student of the school and as such no teacher was attending the school, the villagers said.

With no Government school functioning in the area, the impoverished parents have been spending Rs 2000 on monthly basis in sending their children to private schools.

At times of illness, the patient should be taken all the way to Imphal which is 120 kms away.

There is one primary health centre at Sajik Tampak but there is no doctor, they lamented.

There is no safe drinking water facility in the whole area.

The villagers have been using water either from river or water-holes.

Even if the river water was muddy due to rainfall, the villagers could not help but to consume the same.

As in many other parts of the state, there was no proper cultivation of paddy in Sajik Tampak area due to scanty rainfall.

There was no cultivation of paddy at all in Aigejang.

Because of this, the villagers were quite apprehensive of food grain shortage next year.

Principal of St Mary Catholic School Fr Jayson said that 20 students have dropped out before half-yearly exam while 15 others have not come for second quarterly exam because their parents could not pay school fees.


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