Chizami and Thetsumi villages clash over land in Nagaland

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

August 22, 2022

August 22, 2022

Updated on

August 22, 2022

Location of Conflict

Chizami village

Thetsumi Village

Phek

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict

Two ethnic groups competing over land ownership and use.

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

100

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Nagaland

Sector

Land Use

On June 13, 2022, residents of Chizami and Thetsumi villages in Phek district in Nagaland, clashed over land. The land dispute between the two villages has existed for several years, with both villages laying a claim of ancestral ownership on the land. The latest point of contention involved residents of Thetsumi village damaging fields and torching several farm huts owned by Chizami villagers. During the violence a woman resident of Chizami village has also allegedly been physically assaulted by the youth.

The Chizami Village Council maintained that “Chizami people have been cultivating in these areas without any hindrance from any side since time immemorial.”  However Thetsumi Youth Society(TYS) mentioned that the recent clashes were “triggered by the unlawful and forced seizure by the Chizami Village Youth (CYS) upon the 5 Fanta (timber) truckloads of pine logs brought by the TYS to be sawed in Chizami village on December 8, 2020”. Bringing the matter to the village council's attention, the TYS requested for a written apology from CYS. But the CYS instead wrote an official letter on June 12, 2022, justifying their actions and claiming that the timber was from their ancestral territory.

TYS claimed that the verbal assurance given to them by the Chizami Village Youth for returning the timber to them was also not delivered upon. Subsequently, TYS decided to stop allowing paddy farming in their area by some villagers from Chizami and notified that this would not be allowed until the matter on the official letter submitted by CYS was resolved. TYS alleged that on the day their youth visited the area to inform farmers of Chizami village about their decision, gunshots were fired at them, which made them strike back in defence, including torching some farm huts. Further, TYS denied assaulting any woman from Chizami village.

Chizami Women Society (CWS) on the other hand condemned the assault and said, “The dastardly attack on a woman is unbelievable and bereft of humanity. This act deserves the highest condemnation from every section of the society”. CWS also gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Phek district and Nagaland State Commission for Women in connection to the attack. A FIR was reportedly filed against the youth of Thetsumi village who were involved in the assault. The Chizami Village Council has demanded that the villagers of Chizami who have lost several assets should be duly compensated.

To prevent any intensification of the problem, a restraining order was initiated by the Deputy Commissioner of Phek district.

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

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

Nagaland Village and Area Councils Act, 1978
Section 3 [Every recognized village in the State to have a village council], Section 14 [The village council has the power to administer justice within the village territory. In case of disputes between villages falling in different areas or district, the village councils may settle the dispute in a joint session or refer to the appropriate authority]
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 354 [Provision penalizing assaults or use of criminal force on a woman. The provision accounts for the intention or the likelihood of knowing the act will outrage the modesty of the woman], Section 441 [Provision criminalizing intentional trespass upon another person's property. This includes the intent to commit an offence or intimidation of the property owner], Section 436 [Provision penalizing destruction of houses/ temples/ buildings by fire.]
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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

No

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:

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:

Physical attack

Torching of houses

Sexual violence/sexual harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

A woman farmer was reportedly attacked by Thetsumi youth on 13th June. The incident caused her distress and also injured her physically. Further, several farm huts belonging to Chizami villagers were destroyed by fire by Thetsumi villagers.

Date of Violation

June 12, 2022

Location of Violation

Chuti, Chizami village

Nature of Protest

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District Administration of Phek

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:

Chizami Women Society, Chizami Village Council, Thetsumi Youth Society

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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Edited By

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