IMPHAL, June 30: A violent clash between two villages over payment of tax over a disputed picnic spot at Phangrei Peak (Zero point) led to the death of three villagers while leaving another seriously injured at Ukhrul today.
Sources informed that several women and children are also missing from the spot.
According to sources, around 40 villagers of Sihai Khullen village, Ukhrul including several women and children were on their way to Phangrei peak for a picnic when they were stopped at the foothills by a group of Lunghar villagers demanding registration fee for entry.
The Sihai villagers declaring that there is no need to pay registration fees since the land belongs to them assaulted the Lunghar villagers before continuing for the peak.
It may be mentioned here that there has been a dispute over the ownership of the land; however according to Ukhrul Customary laws the ownership of the disputed land had been handed over to Sihai village.
Meanwhile, the group of Lunghar villagers went back to their village and informed them about the incident.
Soon after two truckloads of Lunghar villagers armed with deadly weapons including guns, sticks and knives chased the Sihai Khullen villagers.
Sources said the Lunghar villagers fired several rounds in the air during the chase.
Four Sihai villagers who were last among their group were picked up by the Lunghar villagers.
The four were taken to a spot and physically assaulted by the Kunghar villagers, sources said.
After severely assaulting them, they were left at another spot from where the four were recovered.
They have been identified as K Leidon, 27, son of (L) K Yarngam of Sihai, K Pambreiyo, K Ngacheitmi son of K Ngazek and K Rawung, 31.
K Leidon was already dead while the three others were in serious condition when they were recovered by a Tangkhul apex body.
The injured individuals were later taken to the Ukhrul District hospital, while the dead body was handed to the Ukhrul district police.
K Pambreiyo succumbed at the hospital, while K Rawung succumbed near Hungphung village on his way to Imphal for further treatment.
Ngacheitmi who is stated to be serious injured is on his way to Imphal for treatment, sources informed.
Meanwhile, when the Tangkhul apex body visited the area, the Lunghar villagers claimed that two of them were also injured, however when asked to produce the two, they replied that they had already left for Imphal for treatment.
District administration and civil bodies have rushed to the spot to take stock of the clash. A police team led by the SP Ukhrul is also investigating into the incident, the source informed.