Chakma refugees and indigenous Singpho clash in AP

Situation in Miao town continued to remain tense following group clash between Chakma refugees and indigenous Singpho residents over a plot of land.

Itanagar: Situation in Miao town under Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh continued to remain tense for the third consecutive day on Tuesday following group clash between Chakma refugees and indigenous Singpho residents over a plot of land on Sunday.

Violence erupted when a group of Chakma refugees burnt down several houses of Singpho community who were residing in a plot of land that belonged to Thuing Singpho at M` Pen village.

A similar clash broke out for the same plot of land two years back.

Legally Singpho is the owner as she has the Land Possession Certificate for the same plot.

The LPC was challenged by some Chakmas in the Guwahati High Court but their claim was rejected.

Following a recent court order, ADC Miao through an order directed the Chakma encroachers to evict the land by December 21 but the refugees declined to comply with it, official sources informed.

After winning the battle at court, the local Singphos had constructed around 20 traditional huts at the plot.

However, on Sunday afternoon, a group of Chakmas burnt down the huts and allegedly fired gun shots and chased the Singphos from the area.

The police arrived at the scene and brought the situation under control, sources informed.

Situation turned worst yesterday when Chakma refugees ransacked entire Miao town and looted the shops.

This was done in retaliation to the ransacking of one shop belonging to a Chakma refugee at Miao town which was allegedly carried out by Singpho group.

The Chakma group also attacked house of KG Singhpho, a senior citizen of Miao town, sources added.

Reports are also pouring in of Chakma refugees attacking various Singpho villages in and around Miao town.

Small Singpho villages like Pisi, Lewang, Phup and Khagam have become vulnerable and there are growing fears that these villages would be attacked anytime.

The local administration yesterday initiated talks between leaders of both the parties to maintain peace in the area but the effort failed, which prompted the administration to clamp prohibitory order under 144 CrPc.

Chief Minister Nabam Tuki yesterday expressed serious concerns over the situation and convened a high-level meeting which was attended by the chief secretary, home commissioner and director general of police.

Expressing concern on the clash between members of the communities of Singpho and Chakmas, triggered by an order on land dispute by the High Court, Tuki appealed for peace and bonhomie.

He said violence is no solution to any dispute and called for dialogue in a congenial atmosphere.

He also appealed people not to panic as the administration is in command of the situation.

After reports of clashes between the two communities, the state government, under directions from the chief minister, has deployed additional forces of state police, paramilitary and army personnel in areas volatile to the situation.

Tuki, who is in constant touch with the deputy commissioner and SP of the district, has informed that the situation was tense but under control.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance and Information Technology C C Singpho, who is also the local legislator of the area, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Gadam Ete and senior police officials left Itanagar this morning to monitor the situation.