Tension subsides but solution eludes border row

Tension subsides but solution eludes border row

MLA Preshow Shimray with officials at JessamiIMPHAL, Apr 22 : Even as the tense situation that flared up between Jessami villagers and Meluri villagers of Nagaland has subsided to some extent no solution to the territorial dispute could be achieved.

Ukhrul SP K Kabib and DC in-charge T John together with their Phek district counterparts facilitated a meeting of the leaders of the two villages at Lanye bridge yesterday.

Talking to a team of media persons who visited Jessami yesterday, Chingai AC MLA MK Preshow Shimray said that the tense situation has subsided but the decades old territorial dispute has not been resolved.

He said that both the sides wished to resolve the issue after a joint negotiation between local MLAs, civil organisations and village leaders.

The MLA exuded confidence that they may be able to work out an amicable solution very soon.

The meeting held yesterday at Lanye agreed that both Meluri and Jessami villagers would stay away from the disputed site until a solution is worked out.

Moreover, restrictions have been imposed in the area under Section 144 of CrPC.

The disputed site is within the boundary of Manipur and it is known as Tebuno Melu.

Yet, the same area is used by Meluri villagers as their traditional land since centuries back.

“Likewise, we have our lands within the political boundary of Nagaland”, said Jessami Village Council Chairman Aye Te Wezah Tebuno Melu is situated about 7 Kms away from Jessami village, and Kizu river which serves as natural boundary between Manipur and Nagaland flows about 7 Kms away from Tebuno Melu.

An Akash bridge constructed over Kizu river connects the two neighbouring States.

A border pillar was erected at Tebuno Melu in 1924 by the then DC of Naga Hills JH Khutan.

It was on the Manipur side of this border pillar where some Jessami villagers went to till land for cultivation. But they were severely assaulted by around 400 armed men including armed Meluri village guards who came from across the border.

This resulted in a tense stand-off between the two villages.

The village chairman said that they were elated when MLA Preshow, with permission from the Chief Minister and the Home Minister, visited them at such critical situation.

“We feel proud on thinking that we too have our Government as well as armed State force”, Aye Te Wezah said.

He further suggested to deploy at least one company of the Manipur Rifles battalion currently posted at Ukhrul.

MLA Preshow was accompanied by IGP (L/O-III) and other officials during his visit to Jessami.

The MLA and his team visited Tebuno Melu and Akash bridge today.

Later, addressing a public meeting at Jessami, MK Preshow assured that he would urge the Chief Minister and the Home Minister to station a full strength police team at Jessami under an SDPO.

But in the absence of DDO, the Jessami SDPO has been functioning from Ukhrul.

Maximum efforts would be put in to open a branch of SBI at Jessami, Preshow said.

The MLA also donated Rs 50,000 for welfare of the Jessami Village Council. TSE

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