IMPHAL, May 5: After the unfortunate incident of arson at Silent Khul under Lamlai police station in Imphal East district on May 3 following a dispute between the two neighbouring villages of Silent Khul and Seijang Khul, IFP had an interaction with the villagers of the surrounding villages today.
When this IFP reporter interacted with two different communities residing at Gwaltabi Bazaar which is 29 Km away from Imphal on Ukhrul Road, they said that the two disputed villages, Silent Khul and Seijang village is divided only by a gorge which runs in between the two villages.
The two villages are located at the same area with one on the higher portion of the hill while the other village lies on the foothill.
Villagers of Seijang have been asking not to build houses near the gorge which divides the two villages. Much against the wishes of the Seijang villagers, villagers of Silent Khul built houses near the gorge which led to the unfortunate incident to happened, the neighboring villagers said.
The incident however has not in any way affected in the love and care they have for each other, said the villagers.
Gwaltabi has a Meitei village surrounded by three Kuki villages namely Mongneijang, Urangpat and Molhoiphai.
The Meitei village has around 54 houses while the three Kuki villages have 105 houses with the area coming under Lamlai Assembly Constituency in Imphal East district.
The main occupation of the neighboring villagers is selling of vegetables and wood by womenfolk while their men go to the hills to collect woods and vegetables, said a villager.
Gwaltabi has only three or four government employees, said the villagers.
The village has only one primary school and if they want to study further they go to Imphal or Yaingangpokpi, said a villager.
The village has electricity supply but no water supply facility with the source of water for the villagers being the ponds of the village and the gorge. In summer time when the pond and gorge dries up, the villagers suffer a lot due to water scarcity, said the villagers.
The Meitei village get PDS items once in a while, while the three Kuki villages do not even know what PDS items are as they have never heard of it.
Gwaltabi have no medical treatment facilities like PHC or PHSC and villagers end up going to Yaingangpokpi which is the nearest or Imphal for treatment.
On the northern side of Gwaltabi, there is Mongneijang village; on the south about 2 and half kms away there is Yaingangpokpi and the neighbouring village is Mayungphang Kuki.
The villages along the Imphal-Ukhrul Road i.e. Silent village, Seijang, New Keilan village, Sabungkhok village, Tellou village, Makha Leikai, Chana village and Nongada village are all living together normally as earlier, according to the villagers.
This same thing was also expressed by the people whom this reporter met randomly between Gwaltabi to Napetpalli.
Meanwhile, the Kanaglei Chanura Chaokhat Lamching Lup (KANGLEICHALL) in a press release has condemned the burning down of 36 houses of Silent village under Senapati district by villagers of adjacent Seijang village on May 3, resulting from a prolonged issue of land dispute as a very unfortunate incident and said such an out of order and thoughtless act should not be repeated again.
The government should put efforts in preventing unwanted incidents instead of taking precautions only when they are over. It would be a right step of the concerned authority to check in advance any such disputes in the other districts of the state, it added.
It then said, earlier conflicts and bloodsheds had happened at border regions between the villagers with Nagaland, and Myanmar. The government is urged to widen its vision and bring lasting settlement of such issues.