Editorial

Bloody disputes

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/19/2020 1:10:00 PM IST

 What happened during the wee hours of Wednesday in Thongtsou village under Noklak district was nothing less than a cowardly and dastardly attack when armed raiders shot dead a person in his own house then set it on fire. Another person was injured and some ten houses were torched and reduced to ashes. The incident has only served to remind the people and the state government that violence appear to be an option in settling disputes. The unjustifiable reason for the murder and mayhem? It was reportedly about a long pending land dispute which was kept on the back burner by the authorities. It also comes at a time when fifteen Karbi Anglong civil society organisations had imposed an indefinite economic bandh on Nagaland at the gateway in Dimapur, which has been temporarily suspended. The incident on November 18 in Thongtsu is one among many involving territorial disputes among rival communities and which had led to loss of many lives and destruction to properties. In simple terms tribes are on the warpath over territories, any acceptance favouring the rival would be tantamount to humiliating surrender of rights. It is a difficult situation when such disputes involved the respective tribes. It may also be recalled that there have been many violent clashes between rival tribe communities over the issue of territory. It is as if each of the tribes within Tuensand and Mon are in fighting mode. It is like a situation of tribe A versus tribe B; tribe A versus tribe C; tribe B versus tribe D; tribe B versus tribe E and so on. The areas where disputes had led to bloody violence include Tuensang, Mon and now Noklak. District authorities and law enforcement agencies have not been totally successful in preventing violence arising out of territorial disputes involving various tribes. It is not that the district law enforcement have failed but that they need to formulate actionable preventive plans to tackle the problem. Since various incidents have exposed the use of modern arms, it is obvious that those involved in carrying out raids or attacks, were well armed miscreants. In general people are for peaceful resolution of the disputes but are either helpless while some among them are complicit in their support of the use of weapons by their own group(s) for defensive purposes. The apex tribe organisations have been trying their best to bring about peace and harmony among various communities. However, a minority continue to fan the embers of hatred and violence. In a way, the topography of the disputed area of far flung districts make it extremely difficult for the district law enforcement to patrol every square kilometre. However, the state government need to look towards a long term strategy to bring all those involved in disputes to the table and along with apex tribe, social and church organisations, take a pledge not to allow any element in hijacking the disputes into violence. The loss of any life make it more difficult to let the old wounds heal. Therefore, there has to be a proactive effort on the part of the state and district authorities to place disputed areas under strict control of police and security force personnel to prevent revenge killings taking place.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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