Makhan arson was to protect ‘ancestral land’: NMPOIMPHAL | Sep 22
Clarifying on the recent incident of torching 18 houses at Makhan Khuman village under Senapati district, Northern Maram People’s Organisation (NMPO) has said, they took up the extreme step as retaliation for taking up developmental activities in their ‘ancestral areas’ by Makhan Khuman villagers.
In a press conference held at the guest house of Maram Centre today, president, NMPO, Talu Dominic said that the Makhan people are not the real inhabitants of Maram. They started settling in Maram just 40-50 years back by paying tax to Maram people, he said. However, they stopped paying taxes in 1988 after the Oinam incident, he added.
“When Oinam incident took place, Makhan people made an allegation to Maram people as being sympathisers of the NSCN–IM for taking taxes from them. Due to this, police personnel started arresting leaders of Maram. Since then, the Makhan people discontinued paying the tax. However, others like Nepali community who have settled in this land are still paying taxes,” he pointed out.
He further alleged that since 2013, Makhan villagers started attacking Maram people in several incidents in connection with land issue. Moreover, many developmental activities are being taken up in the land which has been declared as prohibited by authority concerned, he said. But they never reacted even once, he added.
But they are unable to compromise further on the conversion of Horticulture Farm Land, Maram into a playground and community hall, he said. The land was donated by Maram community to the state government, he added.
Another unacceptable incident that took place was the encroachment of high tension electric post number 122, 123 and 124 as the land of Makhan Khuman village, he informed.
He recalled that in 2013, a new village of Maram people were developed in Naojei with 62 houses but unfortunately, nine was dismantled by Makhan people. Again in June 2014, another 21 houses and one church were blazed, he alleged.
Concerning the arson on houses of Makhan Khuman, he said that the step was taken up as the people of Maram have lost their patience to remain as mere spectators. The excessive action of Makhan Mao provoked them to retaliate in a severe manner, he maintained.
“The incident was not conducted by any group or individual but a movement of the whole people of Maram,” he stressed and further clarified that they did not torch the houses when the owners were sleeping inside. It was baseless, he said.
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