Contrasting claims to Tuinuphai village evacuation raised

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IMPHAL, December 27: In a twist to the reported evacuation of around 30 families by some armed militants from Tuinuphai village in Churachandpur district on December 22, another group of villagers has claimed that the 30 families are outsiders and not residents of the village,

Addressing a press conference at the Manipur Press Club today, Letsei Vaiphei who identified himself as the chief of the village said on December 20, 31 men and women in collusion with Zou Defence Volunteers (ZDV) arrived in his village in a truck and a Tata winger without prior approval and permission of either the village authority or the local church which is the norm in a tribal village.

These men and women had arrived at the behest of Michael Zou home secretary ZDV, who sent a letter addressed to himself the chief of Tuinuphai and Tongkhongin Tungdim, the former chief of the village, he said.

He further continued that the group had entered the village under the guise of celebrating Christmas and wanted to permanently settle down in the village.

He further lamented that such act is not only provocative but also against the spirit of decency and a cultured life.

As a matter of fact, no outsider has any right or religious compulsion to celebrate Christmas in Tuinuphai, settle in the village without prior approval or claim ownership of the village and its land without any authentic documents, he claimed while showing a sale deed registered under no 2754 of October 10, 2008, which indicates that Letsei Vaiphei has absolute ownership and possession of Tuinuphai and its land.

He further declared that when the group reached Churachandpur, they were housed at Zogal Hall as refugees and the local media persons were called for a photo session and then repulsive statements were made claiming that about 30 families roughly 100 individuals had fled Tuinuphai village due to threat from one particular underground organisation.

The refugee’s status bestowed on them by some of their self-service leaders is a trick to hoodwink the public and government, he further claimed.

He further appealed to all concern that the village wants to live in peace and harmony and falsifying truths and distorting facts may bring an inch of newspaper coverage in the morning newspaper but it will not stand the test time.

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