Heavy military presence makes Kamjong jittery


front photo
Mungchan Zimik
Ukhrul, May 18 :  Heavy deployment of Indian securi-ty forces at the border villages of Kamjong due to the ongoing turmoil in Myanmar has sparked fresh fear among the villagers as they fear the whole border villages may be militarised.
A team of Ukhrul media visited the extreme eastern border villages in Kamjong district on Friday to take stock of the situation there and also interacted with the leaders and elders of the villages.
Unconfirmed reports said the PDF cadres, specially of KNA(B), are regrouping after overpowering the Myothit sub-township of Myanmar to advance toward the Tamu areas of Myanmar.
The villagers informed that a fresh attack was also carried out at Minthal border town of Myanmar on May 16 but no details could be established regarding the same.
The situation at the border villages of Kamjong district which are situated at the frontier belt from Namlee/Wangle villages of Border Pillar 89 to Phaikoh village  at Border Pillar 102 spanning about 65 Kms remains volatile after the outbreak of fresh violence in Myanmar.
Speaking to the media, a gtroup of villagers said that sudden deployment of two companies of Indian security forces has worried all of them.
They said that 'force occupation' of their villages without the approval and consent of the village authority is a violation of their customary laws.
Free movement of security forces in the areas without the knowledge of village leaders has made the women insecure while moving out for agricultural pur- poses and other activities, they said.
According to them, the Indian Army has even occupied a residential house at  Zingshophai Choro village.
The headman of Wanglee said that the Indian forces came to the village in large numbers but only a few were seen returning, wondering where the rest of the soldiers had gone.
The villagers, on the other hand, said that the security forces may be coming for a covert mission and the  same is likely to endanger them and disrupt the peaceful atmosphere at the border villages.
Some villagers of Namlee claimed that the Army warn-ed them not to go to a near- by jungle without their permission when they were searching for a missing local last week. The Army reportedly told the villagers that two teams of soldiers have been sent on a mission to the frontier region.
One civilian was injured in a mine bomb explosion inside the jungle and he was given medical treatment at Kaka village, they said. One elder of Namlee village claimed that Indian security forces only visited the Kuki refugees camp and it was unfair and suspicious. The conflict is in Myanmar territory then why is the Assam Rifles setting up multiple checkpoints at border villages, he asked. Villagers living in frontier areas of Kamjong also expressed suspicion that the  Indian security forces and other agencies may be involved in clandestine activities at border villages. People living at border villages have been terrorised by regular bombings and gunfights, they said and added that innocent civilians often flee for safety from the border villages.