By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, April 21: After a long-drawn-out dispute, Khangkhui Khunou has finally relinquished its claim of ownership on portions of Shirui`s land bordering the former leading to an amicable settlement of the dispute, the Village Authorities of Shirui Ato and Shirui Aze villages have said here on Monday.
Disclosing this to media persons at a press conference held at Viewland today, Shirui Aze headman L Willinton said that following the withdrawal of claim by Khangkhui Khunou, an amicable settlement has been reached in the matter, while adding that this was worked out through signing of a joint agreement between representatives of the two villages.
The said portions of land which Khangkhui Khunou had been claiming ownership for years lie along the Khorim-Seichuirin range situated about 12 kms southeast of Shirui village and about 5 kms from Khangkhui Khunou village.
Referring to the joint agreement, he further said, “villagers of Khangkhui Khunou led by its chairman Ks Daniel have conceded that the said land actually belongs to Shirui village and that they would never enter the land again with an intent to claim its ownership.”
It may be recalled here that on April 17 last villagers of Shirui Ato and Shirui Aze were constructing a mini dam across a stream known as Maret Kongrei that runs along the disputed area, when they saw a group of villagers from neighbouring Khangkhui Khunou numbering around 61 led by chairman Daniel armed with rifles and other lethal weapons approaching the work site. Over hundred of Shirui villagers then intercepted them on the way and seized all their weapons to prevent any untoward clashes.
“On enquiring Khangkhui Khunou villagers revealed that they had come here to dismantle the mini dam built at stream which they claim belongs to them,” recounted Shirui Ato headman AS Yungrei.
However, the seized weapons had been safely handed over to the concerned authority the same day in the evening, he added.
He said that his village (Shirui) is constructing the mini dam to bring water to a host of paddy fields which have been dried up owing to diversion of its water source to reinforce water supply to Ukhrul town, before adding that the work had however come under stiff opposition from Khangkhui Khunou as they claimed the area belong to them.
Further asserting that both verdicts issued by Atung Longphang and TNL in 1998 and 2006 had clearly identified the boundary between Shirui and Khangkhui Khunou, Yungrei said that despite this, Khangkhui Khunou continued to claim the said land. Consequently, they had harassed Shirui villagers many times earlier apart from destroying their properties and even set fire one Shaktimaan truck in 2010.
Meanwhile, VA members of both villages of Shirui said that had they not restrained their youngsters on April 17 things could have resulted in clashes among the villagers leading to heavy casualties. At the same time they also appealled to all Tangkhul villages not to indulge in any misdemeanour and call for better sense in inter village issues, while further appealing to concerned authority to intervene at the right time in such issue to preempt any unwanted incidents in future.