Since there was likelihood of breach of law and order and damage of public properties in connection with issues related to land dispute between Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) and Hunphun, the District Magistrate (DM) on Thursday had promulgated 144 CrPC in Ukhrul Town
A huge mob on Friday vandalised the Tangkhul Naga Long TNL office, TNL Assembly Hall in Ukhrul, and destroyed many documents and properties. As many as four individuals were injured, including a police man.
Since there was likelihood of breach of law and order and damage of public properties in connection with issues related to land dispute between Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) and Hunphun, the District Magistrate (DM) on Thursday had promulgated 144 CrPC in Ukhrul Town, whereby prohibiting assembly and movement of four or more persons in an around Ukhrul Town.
In connection with this, Ukhrul SDO was detailed as executive magistrate on duty for maintenance of law and order as per orders dated April 15, 2021 issued by the DM.
Sensing that the situation might likely go beyond the control of the district administration and district police to tackle the law and order situation, the DM had also requisitioned the service of armed forces (Assam Rifles) to aid the civil administration.
Due to the apprehension and likelihood of law and order disturbance, police personnel were deployed in the premises of TNL Office, Ukhrul.
On learning that a meeting is being held at TNL Office, a huge mob numbering around 2000 who had already gathered at Rashing Hall, Awungtang marched towards TNL Office at around 11:30 am on Friday and vandalised the TNL office, TNL Assembly Hall and destroyed many documents and properties after breaking through the barricades at two points.
It is worth mentioning that the Hunphun Village Authority on April 15, 2021 had announced through the PA system that all the denizens of Hunphun including those residing within the jurisdiction of Hunphun and youth to gather at Rishang Hall at 10:00 am. Action would be initiated against those who fail to turn up, it had added.
Hunphun Village Authority had blamed the district administration. “It is a collective failure on the part of district administration. The order itself is very vague and full of confusion. How serious has the SP brief the DC and to the executive magistrate? The law and order matter has been taken lightly by the SP and DC”, said a resident who wished not to be identified.
In spite of clamping 144 CrPC in and around Ukhrul Town, TNL Assembly could still gather, shops were allowed to open and more than four people were seen gathering in the shops. The shops were closed only after the police started firing tear gas. There was no seriousness on the part of the district administration. Injunction order from the court given on February 20, 2021 was also not looked into properly by the district administration.”
Only after breaking through the barricades, the police started shooting tear gas and smoke bombs. In the incident, three were injured by a canister of tear gas. Tarawon Shimrah, Lungmi Ragui and one lady were treated at Leishiphung Christian Hospital.
It is also learnt that one police personnel on duty got injured on the head when the mob threw stones towards the police. The situation was brought under control after reinforcement of additional forces. Ukhrul police informed that a suo-moto case has been registered with regard to Friday’s incident.
The dispute has been simmering since February 24, 2021. During the Emergency Longshim of TNL held on March 10, 2021, the Longshim took the decision to boycott (Khangareng) all the Hunphun village representatives to TNL, the headman of Hunphun and student leaders who were in the list of Proforma Respondent.
In response, on March 16, 2021, the Hunpgun Ukhrul Village Authority had asked the Tangkhul Naga Long to function away from Hunphun jurisdiction since TNL had boycotted the Hunphun chief and his council, HKL president and representatives of Hunphun to TNL.