Ugly stand off over NSU site
Man made trouble
A global pandemic which has already claimed 78 lives so far and infected 12,240 individuals and amid this comes the stand off over the National Sports University site at Haraothel and the blockade imposed on National Highway 2, particularly effective at Kangpokpi district. This is as bad as things can get and while one is a global pandemic with no single country having any control over its spread, the other is strictly man-made. Is it a question of man’s instinct to protect one’s territory or is it a case of coveting the neighbour’s land ? The answer could be either, but remember some years down the line, when the proposed National Sports University starts functioning fully and its products begin to roll out, no company, club or Government agency is going to ask whether the product concerned has come from a varsity which comes under the jurisdiction of Imphal West or from Kangpokpi. It is this clouding of the basic fact that is extremely disturbing to note. Equally distressing is also the fact that the stand off is not seen to be merely between different civil society organisations of Kangpokpi district and the Government but also other organisations such as the National Sports University Protection Committee (NSUPC) and Senjam Khunou and Senjam Chirang Joint Development Organisation (SKSCJDO). What is interesting to note is the assertion of the SKSCJDO that the land where the NSU stands was bought by the forefathers of Senjam Khunou, Senjam Chirang and Koutruk from the Manipur State Darbar for Rs 13. This argument has also been backed up by the assertion that the gazette published on December 20, 2016 said that the particular plot of land comes under Imphal West district.
On the other hand a number of Kangpokpi based Kuki civil society organisations have asserted that the land demarcation exercise currently underway is illegitimate and demanded the constitution of a legitimate demarcation committee and to publicise the findings of the State Government’s District Boundary Commission. The stand on either side of the NSU site divide must be clear to the Government, but unfortunate it is that even after 48 hours of the highway blockade and tension running high, there just does not seem to be a meeting point. Manipur can hardly afford such a situation to prolong, for remember adding the stand off, the highway blockade and the damages inflicted on vehicles on the highway at this time when the people are reeling under the impact of the global pandemic cannot be justified under any circumstances. To come back to the point raised earlier, the death tally has already reached 78, as on October 6 and the number of positive cases continue to climb everyday with no sign that it will abate in the coming days and certainly the stand off over the NSU site is not at all called for. The National Sports University Protection Committee (NSUPC) and Senjam Khunou and Senjam Chirang Joint Development Organisation (SKSCJDO) need to sit down with the various CSOs of Kangpokpi and discuss the matter and see where a meeting point can be met. Let it also be remembered that the merit of anyone passing out from the National Sports University will not be judged on where the varsity stands, whether in Imphal West or Kangpokpi but on his or her performance. This is the bare fact and better face the fact than live in a state where everything is judged according to ‘us’ and ‘them.’