Lungphou to settle land issues under customary law
KANGPOKPI | Jan 10
Lungphou village authority has asked all unauthorised sellers and purchasers of its land today to approach the chief of Lungphou or the village authority to settle the issue as per the Thadou-Kuki tribal customary law.
In a statement signed by its secretary Sehlen Misao, the village authority informed all unauthorised sellers and purchasers of Lungphou land under the orders of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kangpokpi district to approach the Lungphou village chief or the village authority within a month, i.e. up to February 10 this year for a compromise or settlement as per the Thadou-Kuki tribal customary law within the jurisdiction of Lungphou village.
Failure to comply with the notice will be decided by the higher court, it stated.
The order issued by the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kangpokpi, Government of Manipur on January 9, 2017 stated that non-tribal Nepalese which had settled as villagers in Lungphou with the permission of Lungphou chief (late) Phongseh Misao as per a written agreement of both parties on January 13, 1958.
It also established that Lungphou Nepalese must be put under the authority of Lungphou village chief in custom and administration but not in religion while paying customary tributes as agreed earlier in 1958 including Changseo (one tin of paddy per year), Samal (hind leg of a hunted animal) and Khotha (one day labour per year).
It further stated that the Lungphou Nepalese are to pay hill house tax as paid by them earlier through Lungphou village chief under the purview of the Manipur Hill Areas (House Tax) Act, 1966.
It said that the claim of Lungphou Nepalese paying grazing tax since 1970 cannot be considered as valid as the land of Lungphou is not notified as a grazing area while the revenue taxable land of Lungphou village comes under the purview of the Manipur Hill Areas (House tax) Act, 1966.
The order also established that the claim of Lungphou Nepalese claiming the land they purchased from late Phongseh Misao as their private land cannot be considered as valid as they (Lungphou Nepalese) cannot produce any sale deeds/documents to support their claim and the land of Lungphou village does not have any Dag Chitha since it is an un-surveyed land which is not covered under the MLR&LR Act, 1960.
It further nullified the claim of Lungphou Nepalese having separate system of local self-government, Panchayat, village district councils (VDCs), etc, as the land of Lungphou does not come under the Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 while it is legitimately under the purview of the Manipur (Village Authorities in Hill Areas) Act, 1956.
In connection with the allegation against the Lungphou Nepalese for selling the land of Lungphou Village, the order stated that the matter may first be settled out of court of Lungphou/Lungphou village authority for any compromise/settlement within the jurisdiction the village for which a month from the date of issuing the order is given to both parties.
In case the matter is not settled satisfactorily as per tribal customary law, parties concerned may approach a higher court to decide the case under the relevant sections of law, the order stated.