Residents of Bishnupur town informed that the encroached land falls under C.S. Dag No. 1005 of 37-Bishnupur Awang (Sheet No.2).
TFM Exclusive Report
Residents of Bishnupur Town have expressed deep resentment over the encroachment on surveyed-land of 37-Bishnupur Awang under Bishnupur district by the people of Nungsai Chiru Village (formerly under Senapati District, currently under Kangpokpi district). The issue is likely to trigger wide-spread tension if the state authorities fails to take cognizance of the brewing ire.
Prominent residents of Bishnupur informed TFM that the encroached land falls under C.S. Dag No. 1005 of 37-Bishnupur Awang (Sheet No.2). They have alleged that tribal villagers of Nungsai Chiru have so far been encroaching on prime government surveyed-lands reserved by the people of Bishnupur for public purposes mainly as grazing ground (Sanjabung), for public water supply, construction of government and infrastructure for the benefits of the general public.
In connection with the issue, two meetings were held recently. The first meeting held on August 28 was attended by Govindas Konthoujam, Minister for Public Works Department and Youth Affairs & Sports, former Revenue Minister Kh Pulinkanta, BMC Executive Officer, BMC Chairperson, care-taker Councillors, community leaders, activists and others.
During the meeting, community leaders present informed Govindas Konthoujam about the increasing number of encroachments over the surveyed-land under Bishnupur District jurisdiction. It was also informed that the people of Bishnupur had been maintaining peace and tranquil relationship with all neighbouring ethnic groups and they have so far not resorted to any quarrel or conflict with the small Chiru tribal villagers of Nungsai Chiru.
The meeting discussed how in order to arrive at an amicable solution, the Bishnupur Municipal Council (BMC) had approached Deputy Commissioner (DC) to convene a joint meeting with the local village authority of the Nungsai Village and Bishnupur Municipal Council along with local leaders. As follow-up action, the then DC Bishnupur convened a joint meeting on August 7, 1997 in the meeting hall of Bishnupur Mini-Secretariat. In the same meeting, a proposal was placed by the then BMC Chairperson for the construction of a motorable road along the boundary lines of the 1985 Agreement. This agreement was singed and executed between Bishnupur and Nungsai village authority in the presence of a state cabinet Minister and concerned government officials of the state government at that time, N Sanajaoba, former executive officer of BMC told TFM.
According to the 1997 agreement, the motorable road was to serve as the final boundary demarcation line. This agreement was reached after the proposal of the BMC Chairperson and it was unanimously agreed upon and adopted by the local leaders of both Bishnupur and Nungsai village authority. However, the Chief of Nungsai Village had requested the then DC that he would submit a final decision on the same proposal after consultation with the highest decision making body of the village. The request was accepted by the then DC.
In an effort to endorse the decision taken on August 7, 1997 meeting, another joint meeting was also held on August 27, 1997 in the Meeting Hall of the Bishnupur Mini-Secretariat. The meeting was attended by DC Bishnupur as the chairperson. In the meeting, leaders of the Nungsai Village Authority and Bishnupur leaders led by BMC Chairperson unanimously reiterated the earlier decision and agreed to construct a link motorable road starting from the Western side of Loukoipat Water Supply mole-hill by crossing the Nungsai Village I.V. road then running along the centre of the Southern hill slope of Chingang (C.S. Dag No. 1005 of 37 B.T.) joining PWD office approach road just near North Western corner of SSB (now Assam Rifles) fencing, informed another community leader.
As a follow-up action, BMC eventually constructed the road with reference to the terms of August 27, 1997 agreement. After the completion of the road construction, the same road was inaugurated by Govindas Konthoujam, then the Hon’ble Minister of Power, Government of Manipur and current Works Minister.
At the time of the completion of the road, five encroachers (who built homesteads) remained on the Southern side of the road which falls under Bishnupur jurisdiction. After due notice, the owners of the homesteads agreed to shift back to their own areas immediately but they have not vacated the homesteads till date.
Even after two years, decision of shifting back the five homesteads has not been implemented by the Nungsai Village Authority. To settle the matter and also to subdue the growing tension, another joint meeting between BMC and Nungsai Village authority was convened by DC Bishnupur on August 3, 1999. In the meeting, Nungsai Village Authority apparently agreed to take action and shift the homesteads of the encroachers by December 5, 1999. In spite of the decision, not a single encroacher has vacated the surveyed-land till date. Currently the matter has been further aggravated by increasing numbers of encroachers. What is even worse, the Bishnupur district administration has also stopped arbitrating on the issue and has not taken a single decision since 1999, rued the residents of Bishnupur, said one local community leader.
The residents have now planned to approach the Chief Minister N Biren Singh asking him to take immediate action so that there is no more confusion over the issue. The residents also want the state government to take punitive action against those who are encroaching on surveyed-land that comes under the jurisdiction of Bishnupur.
They have warned that if the government fails to take immediate action, the people of Bishnupur would not be able to subdue the growing tension that may flare up into a full-blown tension and conflict.