The Southern Angami Youth Organization (SAYO) has made it clear it will not budge until the government of Manipur meet their demand — removing the barrack of Manipur Police at the disputed area at Kezoltsa (Koziiri).
The 72-hour bandh imposed by SAPO which commenced from March 21-23 in National Highway-2 was converted into an indefinite bandh from midnight of March 23.
SAYO in a press conference held on Friday said, it did not receive any reply from the Manipur government or that it paid any heed to SAYO’s demand hence the indefinite bandh. NH-2 is the lifeline of Manipur State connecting Senapati district that passes through Southern Angami Public Organization jurisdiction in Nagaland State. “We want peace and tranquility with our neighboring state Manipur,” Kevipodi Sophie president SAYO said.
“This issue we have brought into the street despite all the humble request to remove the barracks. They claim as dispute area but from our side its an encroached area. We are forcing the govt of Manipur to withdraw their forces immediately. Many people are requesting to call off this bandh and maintain peace and tranquility among the people but the onus to withdraw the bandh completely rest on the decision of the Manipur government. We are ready to withdraw our volunteers anytime, given they fulfill our demands,” SAYO maintained, adding that the issue has been on going for more than two decades.
The Southern Angami Public Organization further said that they cannot take the land dispute issue into the state affair since it is a traditional issue. “The imaginary line is drawn demarcated since the time of the brothers. We will stand by our traditional rights and cultural values. These political boundary is just an imaginary line demarcated. The Manipur government claiming the disputed area as their jurisdiction is not right. There are many manipulations even in the google map,” SAPO accused.
SAPO furthermore maintained that Manipur police barracks were built and finished two years back without their consent. It has made its stand clear that unless their demands are met the ongoing indefinite bandh will continue.
“We are sending back all the vehicles. We are trying to do it in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. We seek for our Naga customary law through the Naga traditions to resolve the issue and not through dialogue of the two state governments,” it asserted.
SAPO also maintained that it does not intend Nagaland government to directly get involved in the issue. “Commissioners of Nagaland also has weigh in calling upon SAPO to call off this bandh,” it added.
The president of SAPO also conveyed his good wishes and on behalf of the office sincerely urged Manipur government to come out with a positive response at the earliest so that peace, tranquility and brotherhood relations is restored and uphold.
Medical, postal, media, paramilitary coming from Manipur are exempted from the indefinite bandh.
It may be mentioned that the Naga People’s Organization (NPO), Senapati had appealed Tenyimi People’s Organization (TPO) to reconsider the proposed total bandh that is scheduled from March 21-23 over the long pending land dispute.
A joint representation consisting of the presidents of the TPO, Mao Council, Maram Khullen and SAPO had reportedly submitted to the chief minister of Manipur on November 20, 2021 to remove the Manipur Police from the disputed area.