Despite revocation of prohibitory orders at Kozürü/Kezoltsa/Kazing areas, issues persist

Images of camps of Manipur Rifles/police and barricades at the disputed site of Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing where the Manipur government has promulgated Section 144 CrPC (Morung File Photo)

Images of camps of Manipur Rifles/police and barricades at the disputed site of Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing where the Manipur government has promulgated Section 144 CrPC (Morung File Photo)

Morung Express news 
Kohima | February 20

The Mao Council (MC) stated today that 'it is doing its work' following the issuance of an order by the Manipur Government on February 17 to revoke prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC, 1973 at Kozürü/Kezoltsa/Kazing areas.

In the February 17 order, the Manipur Government mentioned that the prohibitory orders been lifted 'to enable the smooth conduct of the assessment of the claims and objections on the traditional dispute over the Dzükou and Kozürü/Kezoltsa/Kazing areas.”

N Athikho Joseph, President of MC, informed The Morung Express that with the lifting of Section 144 CrPC by the Manipur Government, the 'council has done our work, and for which the Tenyimia People's Organization (TPO) is taking up further action. He declined to provide more comments regarding the issue.

Regarding the fact that Manipur Rifles/police and security apparatus have not yet moved to vacate the disputed site, the MC President commented that they are stationed to 'protect the political boundary belonging to the government,' adding that lifting the Section 144 CrPC will pave the way for the impasse and enable concerned organizations to go there and survey the area.

Although it was confirmed that the TPO has gone to the disputed area to reconstruct a rest house belonging to the Southern Angami Public Organisation soon after revoking the prohibitory orders, its representatives could not be reached for comments.

The MC President confirmed that representatives from Tenyimia tribes led by the TPO are visiting the disputed area to restore a rest house demolished by police personnel in the past.

Referring to the ultimatum issued by the Angami Public Organisation (APO) to the MC on January 20 to take full responsibility for withdrawing Manipur Rifles/police and all its security apparatus stationed at the disputed site on or before February 20, APO President Razouvotuo Chatsu reaffirmed to stand firmly on its ultimatum.

He said, "Even if TPO constructs the rest house, or Manipur Government lifts CrPC 144, nothing of those are mentioned in the ultimatum," while declining to comment on their further course of action. 

Reconstruction of SAPO’s rest house was a decision taken more than 10 years back and has nothing to do with the ultimatum, he pointed out. Regarding the purpose of imposing Crpc 144, the APO President stated that such measures are imposed for a certain period depending on the tension or situation. 

The APO President also speculated that the imposition of CrPC 144 by the Manipur Government in Kezoltsa is possibly one of the lengthiest instances in the North East region, or even in the entire country.

"The situation in Manipur valley is such that they are so badly in need of Manipur rifles or jawans or para-military forces but questioned why instead they are keeping them in the jungles guarding encroachers who keep doing all sorts of developmental works and destroying the forests. The intention is unknown," he added.

On what measures the APO will be taking further, Chatsu said if that "Manipur rifles are totally withdrawn from the disputed area, since we have assured that we will try to solve the dispute amicably according to the customary practices, we will certainly go and visit." The APO reiterated that in case "any situation comes out, the Mao Council will be held responsible," as served in the ultimatum.

On why the Nagaland Government has not been seen in the picture so far, the APO president clarified that whether the land falls under the Manipur Government or Nagaland Government, the land does not belong to the government, irrespective of any sides. 

That side belongs to the Mao or Maram who are Tenyimia, and this side belongs to the SAPO. "If required, we will appeal to the government for help. Otherwise, it has no right to interfere," he added.