The Konsakhul (Konsaram) Village Authority condemned the savage act perpetrated by illegal immigrants at Leilon Vaiphei village on March 26 and 27, against innocent civilians in the strongest term where 20 people were severely injured and two other persons are in serious condition and currently admitted in Raj Medicity, Imphal for treatment.
The village authority said in a release that the root cause of all the problems is the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants over the years at Konsakhul area under Kangpokpi district. The influx of illegal immigrants, mainly from Myanmar being facilitated the vote bank politics and electoral gain in the last 50 years in the state of Manipur has caused rampant settlement in their area, they said.
The release mentioned that, over the period of time, these illegal immigrants have gained a demographic edge over the indigenous communities. In 1970, there was only one Vaiphei village called Leilon but today the number of villages has increased to 21.
However, contrary to it, the only genuine indigenous village in the area i.e. Konsaram, also called Konsakhul, remains as it is without mushrooming its hamlets.
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Mushrooming of illegal villages were backed by militant groups in connivance with the district administration supported by the state politicians, the release stated.
The village authority also said that taking advantage of their numerical strength and demographic dominance, these illegal immigrants are indulging in rampant destruction of environment and forests, recruitment, training, free-uncontrolled, extortion, kidnapping, free entry, shelter and exit passes for the illegal immigrants from across the borders.
The release also mentioned about the illegal activities carried out in their area such as generation of revenues through poppy cultivation; logging business from the virgin forest of Liangmai, hunting, poisoning rivers with chemical/bleaching powder, encroachment of land, create land disputes and jungle raj carried out by the kuki militants under Suspension ofOperation (SoO) in Kangpokpi district.
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It also condemned the consistent attempts being made to reduce them to voiceless and invisible minorities in their own lands through systematic and structural manipulation; snatching away their lands, economic and political rights from the indigenous locals.
Manipur as a whole is facing a major problem of migration and that potholes began with the sharing of a 398 km border with Myanmar which enables easy border crossing in the state.
Those communities who themselves are the outlanders have brought more people to increase their strength in the social and political landscape.
It also recalled the recent instance of bringing in thousands of illegal immigrants especially in Kangpokpi District without informing the competent authority which caused tension amongst the indigenous communities in the district.
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Encroachment of land is one of the challenges, adding land disputes and tension in the region. Leilon Village was a tenant of Konsakhul village and thereby a lease agreement was signed which still stands today between the landlord (Konsakhul) and tenant (Leilon).
The tenant used to pay royalties in the form of one kaluang (sangbai) of paddy per household of Leilon in a year to Konsakhul village.
It also condemned the government for failing to execute the impediment issue, despite knowing the real owners of the land. Stringent action should be taken against land grabbing, trespassing, land encroachment and rampant entry of illegal immigrants in the state.
It is high time the government woke up to the situation and the problem will have to be solved and appealed to the government that immigrants cannot be placed on equal footings with the genuine indigenous communities of Manipur.
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It also warned of Manipur becoming another Tripura where the indigenous people are minorities in their own state if the government fails to act now.
If the state government fails to book the culprits and bring justice within 24 hours, they will chart out their next course of action and intensify their agitation, said the release.
The village authority also appealed to the government to include the representatives from their neighbouring villages namely, Khurkhul, Sekmai, Senjam Chirang, Koutruk, Kanto, Chingmang, and Kanto Sabal village should be included in any talks conducted regarding the incident without fail.