Situation now calm in Chassad, committee formed: CM Biren
IMPHAL, 16th Mar: Chief minister N Biren Singh has informed that situation in Chassad village of Kamjong District is now under control and the government has constituted a committee to enquire into the events leading to the incident of violence, burning of houses and vehicles there on Monday.
A ministerial team visited Chassad village on Monday, where some unknown miscreants burned down 150 houses and numerous vehicles. The team met with both the warring sides and started talks to prevent any further unwanted incidents.
Addressing a press conference in this regard at Chief Minister’s Secretariat here after the return of the ministerial team on Monday night, Biren said that the government strongly condemns such acts of burning down properties and resources.
He maintained that the unfortunate incident could be the handy work of some miscreants, and it should not be given a communal tone at all. Taking the matter seriously, the government immediately sent a team led by deputy chief minister Y Joykumar to the village to take stock of the situation and meet leaders of different communities.
Informing that agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian, education minister Th Radheshyam, water resources minister Letpao Haokip, Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum, Kamjong MLA K Leishiyo, Kamjong DC and Home Department commissioner were part of the team, chief minister Biren conveyed that they headed for Chassad in a helicopter at around 12:10 pm after holding an emergency Cabinet meeting.
Reiterating that the situation is now calm and he had discussed the matter with the representatives of Kuki Inpi Manipur as well in his office, Biren further said that in addition to a medical team, relief materials including blankets, tents, essential items and drinking water would be sent to the village on March 17 morning. A strong security team led by ADGP L Kailun is now stationed in the village, and the government has also communicated with the Union Home Ministry, Assam Rifles and Army for ensuring security in the area, he added.
Biren further informed that a three-member committee headed by additional chief secretary Dr Suhel Akhtar would submit a report within ten days. The committee which includes other two members namely DIG Achin Haokip and joint secretary Luckyson Ngamsha Kashung would also try to identity the culprits responsible for the incident and enquire into the steps taken up by security forces to control/prevent the incident. He further said that the committee would suggest measures to prevent similar incidents in future.
He assured that the government would build houses for all those whose houses were gutted and compensate for the properties lost in the incident after making an assessment.
The chief minister appealed to the public to maintain calm and avoid spreading rumour on social media which may fuel communal flare-up. As the situation is now under control and the matter is almost resolved, ban on mobile internet may be lifted from March 17, he conveyed.
Over 100 houses in Chassad village of Kamjong district were torched as tension gripped the area after unknown miscreants set afire paddy fields of Chassad on Sunday evening.
Chassad village is located around 1.5km to the north of Chassad police station in Kamjong district and the village comprising around 200 houses usually reserves around 30 acres of land for Jhum cultivation. Chassad villagers normally burn the reserved area at appropriate time for best yield but unknown miscreants torched the paddy field and one nearby house at about 8pm Sunday.
Alleging villagers of neighbouring village for the arson, irate Chassad villagers blocked Imphal-Kamjong road at Sampui junction and demanded handing over of the culprits to them. Chassad villagers then set afire a fuel pump opened at Sampui village which led to intense clash between villagers of the two neighbouring villages.
A police team rushed to the area after getting news of the incident but could not control the situation. While the police team was trying to control the situation by dispersing the warring villagers, Sampui villagers dispersed Chassad villagers and torched houses of Chassad one by one. Over 100 houses of Chassad and 10 vehicles including four-wheelers were completely destroyed in the arson while Chassad villagers took refuge at nearby Assam Rifles camp.
Later, a large team of state police led by additional DGP Kailun rushed to the area and brought the situation under control. Additional security forces are still camping in the area to prevent further clash.