Jessami is a border village in the extreme north of Ukhrul District, situated in a strategic geographical location bordering Nagaland State and Myanmar.
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Villagers of Meluri, Nagaland have once again encroached on Jessami Village, Manipur. Palpable tension has gripped the interstate border area as villagers of Jessami are ready for a face-off since armed village guards of Meluri started patrolling within the Jessami village jurisdiction.
Jessami Village Council has submitted a representation to the governor of Manipur stating that villagers and village guards of Meluri, Nagaland were cutting and burning a jungle belonging to Jessami Village, Manipur on April 12, 2021 and Meluri Villagers Guards were patrolling inside Manipur with 303 rifles.
The representation stated that “the villagers of Meluri, Nagaland have cut down trees by trespassing into the Jessami Village, Manipur. In order to maintain a good relationship between the two neighbours, the chairman and secretary of Jessami Village Council has personally approached the chairman and secretary of Meluri Village to stop the villagers from further cutting of trees. But their approach was not heeded.
“On April 12, 2021, about 60 to 70 village guards of Meluri with 303 Rifles issued by the Government of Nagaland trespassed into Jessami and cut down trees and burnt the jungle within the jurisdiction of Jessami village, by totally violating the provision of Village Guards Act of Nagaland as well as resolution of Jessami Village and Government of Manipur which prohibits burning of forest on fire.
“The Jessami Village Council had also registered an FIR on April 12, 2021 about the incident at Jessami Police Station and reported to SDO Jessami and deputy commissioner of Ukhrul.
“The 14 Assam Rifles posted at Jessami has also encountered the movement of around 70 village guards of Meluri patrolling in the Jessami Village.
“Since there is no officer, police or civil stationed at Jessami though they have offices, bloodshed is likely to occur because the villagers of Jessami are ready to counter the village guards of Meluri since they have started patrolling within the inhabited areas of Jessami village.”
The representation urged the governor of Manipur to look into the matter at the earliest with seriousness before any untoward incident happened.
Tension between Jessami Village of Manipur and Meluri Village of Nagaland is not new. The tension subsides and resurfaces every now and then because of boundary encroachment by the two villages of Nagaland inside the jurisdiction of Jessami Village.
In 2009, the then chief minister O Ibobi Singh in a briefing to the Media had stated that no guest, rest house and other structures were being constructed on the Manipur territory by the Nagaland Government at Jessami.
The Raphei Katamnao Long had strongly condemned the immature and concocted press statement of the chief minister – “No Nagaland Rest houses in Jessami” published in all the leading
dailies on October 10 . The students’ unions had then challenged CM Ibobi to personally pay a spot visit for verification since the structure would not simply vanish into thin air as well as for setting the record straight.
Jessami is a border village in the extreme north of Ukhrul District, situated in a strategic geographical location bordering Nagaland State and Myanmar. It is about 115km from Ukhrul Headquarters with a total of 558 families residing. The Jessami village has a population of 2765 of which 1522 are males while 1243 are females as per Population Census 2011.