IMPHAL, Jan 5
The United Committee Mani-pur (UCM) has expressed keen desire to ascertain whether the wildfire raging at Dzuko valley and its surrounding mountains got started naturally or it was man-made.
The Manipur-Nagaland border region has been apparently in contention since April, 2015 after an alleged land grabbing issue at Kozirii which was followed by Angami villagers disrupting normalcy by imposing a blockade on innocent Mao villagers, said UCM in a press release issued today.
Despite appeals made to the Government of India from various sections to settle the inter-State boundary issue, no significant steps have been taken up so far. As such naturally rich Dzuko valley and other surrounding areas are almost being left unattended as if Manipur has no authority over the region, it said.
What is more disheartening is that people of the State had to traverse on routes within Nagaland to reach the valley, it said while adding that such a situation has given undue advantage to the people of Nagaland specially, villagers of Southern Angami.
Despite the fact that two third of the valley area lies within the State of Manipur, the people of Nagaland have even started claiming Dzuko valley as theirs, it continued while expressing regret over the State Government's indifferent attitude towards the issue.
The Southern Angami People Organisation (SAPO) had also made the same claim recently after the Manipur Government recently held a Cabinet meet- ing in Senapati and took a decision to construct a road from Mao to Dzuko, it said.
However, the wildfire which reportedly began around December 29, when people of the State were rejoicing over Manipur Government's decision to improve connectivity is something ambiguous, said UCM while stressing on the need to ascertain the real cause of the wildfire.
Moreover, the Manipur Government and Nagaland Government should make concerted effort to settle the inter-State boundary issue by incorporating the people of affected villages viz; Mao and Angami. Above this, the Union Government should facilitate the settlement work by constituting inter-State boundary commission, said UCM.
While expressing will to extend all possible help towards bringing a lasting solution to the land ownership issue, UCM also assured to assist and encourage any welfare measure meant for the people dwelling in and around Dzuko valley.
Lauding the State Armed Police, State Disaster Response Force, Manipur Fire Service, National Disaster Response Force and Indian Air Force for their efforts to douse the wildfire, UCM also paid tribute to ASI of NDRF team, Binoy Meitei from Luwangshangbam, who was found dead this morning.