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Boundary dispute along the Manipur-Nagaland border

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 30, Mar 2022
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Reference News:-

Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO), a tribal body of Nagaland, has announced bandh from March 24 over Manipur’s failure in withdrawing armed personnel and permanent structures from the disputed Kezoltsa area.

Impact of the Bandh:

  • The National Highway-2, which connects the two states and is a lifeline for Manipur, runs through the area.
  • The bandh is likely to cause inconvenience to the travellers to Manipur and transportation of essential commodities to the state.

What’s the dispute all about?

At the root is an old land ownership dispute between three Naga tribes — the Angamis of Nagaland, and the Maos and Marams of Manipur.

  • Kezoltsa is a thickly forested area on the periphery of the picturesque Dzukou Valley, bordering Nagaland and Manipur.
  • Dzukou Valley, spread over the two states, has traditionally been a bone of contention between the Mao Nagas of Senapati (Manipur) and the southern Angami Nagas of Kohima (Nagaland).

The dispute: current context:

  • Kezoltsa (also called Kozuru/Kazing) is not a part of Dzukou Valley, but has become a flashpoint in recent times with both the Marams and Maos claiming it belongs to Manipur’s Senapati district.
  • The Angamis say it is part of the Angami tribal ancestral land, and was “unfairly” made a part of Manipur by the British in the colonial era.

What next?

The claim that the entire Dzukou Valley belongs to Nagaland is made by Southern Angami Public Organisation, not by the Nagaland state.

  • If the need arose, the Centre may play the part of mediator in resolving the issue.