Thursday, February 22, 2024

Villagers trade fire over land dispute

Villagers trade fire over land dispute
MON, JULY 30 (NPN): The standoff between Longching village under Mon district and Pongo village under Longleng district over land dispute came to a head, Tuesday as both sides resorted to blank firing, though there was no report of any casualty or injury on either side.
Sources said on Tuesday, Longching villagers (Konyak) numbering around one thousand, some with arms, went to rebuilt two bridges, which was reportedly destroyed by Pongo villagers (Phom), when they were challenged by five persons in camouflage and carrying sophisticated weapons.
Exchange of fire between the two sides started around 6:30 a.m and lasted till 3p.m, sources said.
It was reported that a company of 6th NAP sent from Mon to control the situation, reached Longching town on July 27, but instead of camping in the disputed area, the NAP personnel stayed put at Longching town.
Villagers alleged that the NAP personnel and EAC Longching reached the disputed area only on Tuesday and that too after the firing incident.
The villagers said the clash could have been averted had the NAP personnel camped at the disputed area in advance.
The genesis of the stand off started with a land dispute between the two villages and according to sources, Pongo villagers allegedly destroyed two bridges, which not only served as link between the two villages but also some paddy fields belonging to Longching villagers lying on the other side of the bridges.
On July 24, Longching villagers also claimed t hat their paddy fields were destroyed by Pongo villagers.
Earlier, the apex tribal bodies of the two tribes- Phom People’s Council (PPC) and Konyak Union (KU)- met at Kohima and decided to convene a joint meeting on July 26 at Sheangphan on the bank of Yangmon river, to amicably resolve the issue.
But Pongo villagers refused to attend the meeting citing transportation problem and road condition.
The meeting was then postponed to July 28 to be held at Sibsagar, Assam, but this time Longching villagers refused to attend saying that the meeting should be held within Nagaland and not in Assam.
However, sources said the meeting has been re-scheduled on August 5 at Sibsagar, to be attended by DCs and SPs of Mon and Longleng districts, KU, PPC and representatives from both the warring villages.
Meanwhile, the Konyak Student’s Union (KSU) has expressed unhappiness over the incident and requested both parties to resolve the “misunderstanding in a peaceful manner as it is a family matter,” and that both the tribes were under the banner of ENPO and ENSF.

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