The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Feb 19: Trouble appears to be on the horizon between the neighbouring states of Manipur and Nagaland over the ownership of the Dzuko valley, with the Southern Angami tribe reportedly deciding not to allow any individual, party, organisation, or association from Manipur to visit the picturesque valley unless the people and government of Manipur apologise and make rectification for staking claim to portions of the valley.
A report appearing recently in the Dimapur-based Eastern Mirror said a decision in this regard has been taken by the Southern Angami Students Union and the Southern Angami Public Organisation.
The report, headlined `Dzukou closed to people of Manipur` is partially reproduced below:
.. Ridiculing claims made by the people of Manipur, particularly by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA), that a part of Dzukou Valley belong to Manipur, SASU, in a statement issued by President Seyievilie Peter and Speaker Voto Neikha, said the MMTA had, in the year 2004, obtained written permission from SASU seeking to visit the famed valley after acknowledging the legitimate possession of the Southern Angamis over Dzukou.
A huge number of mass-based organisations visiting Dzukou from Manipur also had, of their own accord, acknowledged the same, the SASU statement said, and expressed outrage over the regular interference and attempts by the people of Manipur to encrach over the legitimate territory of the Soutern Angamis`. It warned that it would not remain silent and that it would not part with an inch of its land and territory `that had been daringly protected and handed over to the present generation by our forefathers`.
SASU also claimed that it had evidence of certain Naga communities in the state of Manipur of conniving with and abetting the Manipuris` claims over the valley and warned these communities against practicing double-standards. "Our patience and spirit of accommodation has been taken for a ride for too long," the statement said and warned that it would retaliate with `the same degree and action for all the wrongs and betrayals that have been inflicted upon us`.
SASU has been issuing entry permission and implementing the codes of conduct for visitors of Dzukou for its protection and upkeep on behalf of the Southern Angamis, it said.
However, it will henceforth, not allow any individual or organisation from Manipur to visit the valley for the `constant and intentional violation of our laid-down rules and regulations unless proper rectification and apology from the people and government of Manipur is made`, it said, adding any attempt or breach of its order will invite `heavy casualties for which we will not be held accountable`.