With Dolaithabi village reporting zero firing incidents over the past seven months, the Dolaithabi village Development Committee on Saturday urged the government to facilitate the return of villagers to their homes with proper security measures and timely compensation.
Dolaithabi, along with neighboring villages namely Ekou and Yenguman, faced displacement since May 3 due to aggression by Kuki militants employing sophisticated weapons.
The militants further exacerbated the situation by setting houses ablaze on various occasions throughout May.
Speaking at the Manipur Press Club, Sapam Ango, former Up-Pradhan of Makeng Dolaithabi GP, expressed frustration over the prolonged delay in addressing the villagers’ demands for resettlement.
He highlighted a meeting held at the Imphal East DC office on October 25, 2023 attended by key officials, which aimed at devising a resettlement plan with security measures.
Moreover, a ground survey on November 10, 2023 conducted with the assistance of troops from 18 Assam Rifles and village representatives, ensued but failed to materialize into concrete action, he said.
Despite these efforts, the government has yet to initiate the much-needed resettlement program, he lamented.
He also clarified that the villagers do not object to the removal of the Assam Rifles post from the village, dismissing objections raised by an individual named Th Sanjoy, purportedly the president of Dolaithabi village.
Ango pointed out that Sanjoy is not a resident of Dolaithabi and highlighted the AR post’s hindrance to setting up temporary shelters near Dolaithabi bridge, supposedly within the firing range.
Addressing concerns about the firing range, he questioned the contradiction evident in shops being open and houses being settled in an area supposedly under threat.
The villagers of Dolaithabi advocated for the removal of the AR post and its replacement with a well-equipped Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) post, originally displaced during the onset of the crisis, he added.