TODAY -

PAPPM slams encroachment by Angamis
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 30 2024: Claiming that the State's territory has been encroached by Angami people from Nagaland, the People's Alliance for Peace and Progress Manipur (PAPPM) has urged the Manipur Government to take up immediate and decisive action to protect the 'State's border and ancestral land'.

In a statement, PAPPM said that they strongly condemn 'the ongoing encroachment of Manipur's territory by Angami people from Nagaland'.

It claimed that this encroachment issue dates back to 2022 when Southern Angami People's Organization (SAPO) and Southern Angami Youth Organization (SAYO) aggressively encroached into Manipur's territory by claiming areas like the Koziirii Forests, Dziiko, and Mt Esii as their ancestral lands.

Claiming that they issued notices to the Mao people demanding their evacuation from these regions, PAPPM continued that Mao people in Nagaland, particularly Kohima faced threats and eviction notices from SAPO and the Angami Youth Organization (AYO).

It went on to claim that schools and colleges managed by Mao people in Kohima were forced to close.

"Despite the Mao community's resilience in defending their ancestral land, SAPO and SAYO resorted to extreme measures, such as banning Mao people from using National Highway 2 for over three months (December 15, 2022, to April 2023) and subjecting them to harassment, physical violence and property damage," PAPPM alleged.

Recounting that the Manipur Government established an IRB camp at the encroachment site to protect the State's territories, PAPPM maintained that the Mao people had also filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court over the matter.

The apex Court had also directed SAPO and SAYO to cease violating the fundamental rights of Mao people and grant them free access to the highway.

SAPO and SAYO, however, continued to demand the withdrawal of Manipur security forces from the encroached sites.

The situation escalated further when other Angami organisations joined SAPO and SAYO in demanding the withdrawal of Manipur security forces, PAPPM maintained and added that APO issued an ultimatum on January 20, 2024 to the Mao Council to facilitate the withdrawal of Manipur security forces.

The security forces were relocated fearing harm to the Mao people, it said.

Chakre Chovow Union, an organisation of six Mao villages, however opposed the relocation of the security forces, PAPPM said and continued that the relocation of security forces did not resolve the underlying issues.

Stating that SAPO issued an eviction notice to the Mao people living in "Angami jurisdiction" including Kohima and a part of Dimapur on March 6, 2024, PAPPM claimed that SAPO issued another directive on March 7 last in Angami dialect to drive away Mao residents to their native villages and not to shelter any Mao people.

Manipur DGP wrote a letter to his Nagaland counterpart on March 6, 2024, to take appropriate action regarding the eviction notice served by SAPO, it said.

"AYO volunteers recently conducted aggressive searches targeting Mao individuals in Kohima, intimidating them to leave their rented homes," it claimed.

Even a 60-year-old stroke patient with limited mobility and a differently abled person were coerced to leave the place, PAPPM said.

AYO volunteers also prevented a grieving family from cleaning the graveyard of their mother, who passed away on March 16, PAPPM claimed and alleged that schools and colleges in Kohima managed by Mao people were instructed to shut down.

The Manipur Government must communicate with the Nagaland Chief Minister to end these illegal activities, it demanded and added that the Manipur Government has the moral responsibility to deploy and establish police outposts within its territory without needing permission from other States.

Saying that the boundary between Nagaland and Manipur was clearly defined when the two States were created, PAPPM asked the State Government to not succumb to the pressure of some organisations and protect the State's territory.

The persecution, harassment, and banishment of the Mao people in Kohima and other Angami-dominated areas are still continuing, it claimed and added that PAPPM and the people of Manipur stand with the Mao people.

PAPPM urged the Manipur Government to resolve the encroachment issue by communication with the Nagaland Government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Manipur Government should urge the Nagaland Government to take action against SAPO, SAYO, APO, and AYO for their unlawful activities, it said and added that the Manipur Government can explore legal options to resolve the issue and protect the territory of Manipur.


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