IMPHAL, July 25 - The Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur (LNC-M) has expressed its strong opposition to the campaign carried out by the Nepali community residing in Manipur �asserting themselves as natives and their consequent demand for separate village administration authority�.
According to LNC-M, a good number of Nepalese are �living in Liangmai ancestral land under the so-called Sadar Hills areas�. The LNC-M stated that the age-old landowner-tenant relationship between the native tribal Nagas and Nepalese have been in practice till date.
According to LNC-M, in the 1930s the then British regime, without consulting the tribal land owners, permitted the Nepalese entry to Irang areas for the limited purpose of grazing their cattle. The said arrangement was for the Nepalese to temporarily stay on payment of grazing tax to the government wherein the villagers of Thonglang were authorised to collect tax from the Nepalese.
�Concurrently, they also paid land tax to the surrounding Liangmai Naga villages, viz., Thonglang Akutpa, Thonglang Atongba, Tapon Naga, Harup Naga and Makui as per tribal customary law for their settlement.
The then British India Government outrightly rejected their request for allotment of land for settlement since the permission for Nepalese to graze their cattle in the area was a temporary arrangement and more importantly for the reason that the government cannot allot tribal land to non-tribals as per stringent laws that regulates tribal lands. Therefore, right from the beginning of their entry to hill areas up until now, the Nepalese have been paying land tax to the above mentioned villages as per tribal customary law,� the LNC-M added.