At least 13 injured in inter-village clash over land dispute

TMB Report

THOUBAL: At least 13 persons from Salungpham village in Thoubal district were injured in a clash with villagers of Ringpam of Tengnoupal district which took place at around 4:00 PM on Friday over a land dispute.

Heavy security presence has been pressed into service in the area with immediate effect with the aim of thwarting any flare ups and preventing further untoward incidents.

According to sources, tension have been building up between the two villages for the last few days, as they have conflicting claims over ownership to parts of the area known as Salungpham Khunou (Santipur Khunou) which lies in between the two villages.

It came to light that villagers of Ringpham went to the extent of carrying out demarcation of the area by drawing a boundary. However, the claims were countered by their neighbors and with a common desire for an amicable settlement to the issue a joint sitting was called among representatives of three-four villages that surround the land in dispute. The meeting which was agreed upon was to take place on August 31, 2020 under the auspices of the pradhan of Salungpham GP, sources informed.

As part of the process, this afternoon around five individuals from Salungpham travelled first to Tolen and Maryland which are also adjoining villagers to the disputed site to hand over the invitations of the meeting to the respective chiefs. After completion of giving formal information to the two villages, the messengers moved to Ringpham, where some hostility was awaiting their path.

They found that the entrance to the village was closed and the villagers refused to allow them to enter inside the village for any matter whatsoever. When the visitors tried to convince the villagers to lower the guards by explaining the nature of their visit which was to make a formal invitation to the chief about the planned meeting on settling the dispute, they were faced with an altogether surprising attack, as the villagers of Ringpham expressed to them their extreme standpoints and apparently used provocative and insensitive languages.   

Irked by the unexpected response from Ringpham villagers delivered to them by the messengers upon their return, villagers of Salungpham also took the more aggressive choice to barricade the controversial area at Salungpham Khunou, taking a shift from the understanding to have a reconciliation meeting they have worked upon. During their engagement to erect fencing there, armed villagers of Ringpham attacked them with guns, stones and catapults in which 13 women and men from Salungpham were hurt.

Immediately, after getting wind of the news, the Thoubal district police team led by the SP Dr S Ibomcha himself arrived at the scene to take control of the violent settings. The situation is reported to peaceful at the villages when the reports were filed.

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