Border Dispute Results in Clash of Nagaland-Manipur Villages, Abduction of Naga Dobashi

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Updated on

March 24, 2022

Location of Conflict

Khezhakeno Village

Tungjoy Village, Manipur

Phek

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Border Dispute

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2021

State

Nagaland

Sector

Land Use

An incident of collecting firewood blew up into a major row of border dispute between Khezakeno village in Nagaland and Tungjoy village in Manipur.

A group of 150 to 200 residents of Khezhakeno village had gone to Kahuzo forest on February 12, 2021, to gather firewood. The forest area is disputed as both the states claim territorial jurisdiction over it – a part of the forest falls in Tungjoy and the other half falls in Khezakeno. When a police official from Manipur reached the spot and tried to stop the group from chopping trees, they did not pay heed. In retaliation, about 500 people from Tungjoy went to the forest on the Nagaland side on February 15 and started chopping trees for firewood. A dobashi (government official) from Khezakeno went to the spot along with police officers to mediate, but the group overpowered them and reportedly abducted and manhandled the dobashi. He was released later at night.

The Khezakeno Village Council (KVC) claimed that the dobashi was ‘kidnapped and assaulted at gunpoint’. It issued a press release condemning the ‘criminal act’. The KVC also stated that the dobashi was punched and kicked and that his medical examination revealed physical torture.

“We suspect that the intruders came with an intention to grab/encroach our demarcated land,” the press release stated. The KVC alleged that the abduction was not the first instance of ‘criminal activity’ by Tungjoy residents and that they were responsible for burning down traditional huts during the Khezakeno People’s Festival in 2018 and 2019. The Tungjoy Village Authority Council and Tungjoy Youth and Students Organisation have reportedly denied the allegations of abduction.

Meanwhile, the KVC highlighted the Watershed Principles of the state boundary demarcation as determined in a survey in 1872 by Captain Butler and Dr. Gordon of the erstwhile British administration. The chief secretaries of the two states had reaffirmed in 1982 that the state boundary determined in 1872 was ‘final and inalienable’.

Following the incident, Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton visited the conflict site to take stock of the situation. He assured the people that he would take up the issue of the land dispute with his Manipur counterpart and aim to settle the matter amicably.

Vithwel Kweho, Extra Assistant Commissioner of Khezhakeno village, told LCW that the conflict has not been settled yet. "The governments of both Nagaland and Manipur are presently abiding by the agreement signed between the two states in 1982. The primary problem is the watershed line along Chida demarcated by the Britishers, which separates Nagaland and Manipur," he said, adding that the extent of the line is differently interpreted by Tungjoy and Khezhakeno villages.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to resolve the border dispute

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

[State boundary disputes to be decided as per the 1872 Survey made by Mr. Butlar and Dr. Gordon. SDOs of both states to identify areas of dispute and Deputy Commissioners to settle village boundaries without altering state boundaries]
16 Point Agreement between the Government of India and the Naga People’s Convention, dated July 26, 1960
Point no. 12-13 [The Naga Delegation raised the demand of consolidation of forest areas and Contiguous Naga Areas before the Union government]
Section 3 [Establishment of the State of Manipur]
North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971
Section 3 [Establishment of the State of Manipur]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Land record discrepancies

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Other harassment

Physical attack

Torture

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Yes

Reported Details of the Violation:

A government employee (dobashi) was reportedly manhandled and abducted at gunpoint when he visited the disputed area and attempted to mediate the conflict.

Date of Violation

February 14, 2021

Location of Violation

Khezhakeno village

Nature of Protest

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Superintendent of Phek; Senapati district administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Khezhakeno Village Council, Chakhesang Youth Front, Tungjoy Village Authority Council, Tungjoy Youth and Students Organisation

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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