Imphal, July 11:
Farmers in the Kadangband area have expressed their deep appreciation for the Border Security Forces (BSF) for their role in safeguarding farmers in carrying out agricultural activities. Despite assurances from the state government regarding security by providing state forces, it seems the BSF has stepped forward to ensure the safety of farmers, earning praise from the local community.
Elangbam Lokendro, a farmer from Kadangband, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Border Security Force for their invaluable assistance. “We, the people of Kadangband, have been subjected to various forms of attack by Kuki militants from the nearby hills. We were deeply concerned about our safety and the impact of these attacks on our agricultural activities, which are vital for our sustenance. Thankfully, since the arrival of the 16 Battalion Border Security Forces stationed in Kadangband, we have witnessed a significant improvement in the security situation,” said Lokendro, noting that the BSF has been instrumental in providing support, surpassing the efforts of the state forces.
Lokendro further explained that the BSF has effectively protected the northern region of Kadangband since their deployment, allowing agricultural activities to resume. Grateful for their assistance, the local community extended their thanks to Officer-in-Charge Rakesh Kumar of B Coy Ex-16 BN adhock M&C-II BSF for their dedicated efforts in providing armed personnel to the area.
Khwairakpam Sana, another farmer from Kadangband and an advisor to Kadangba Apunba Naharol, also praised the BSF for their contributions. However, he criticized the state government for its failure to expedite the deployment of state security personnel as promised on time.
Speaking from the intersection of Kadangband part 1 and part 2, near a sprawling paddy field, Sana vividly described the challenges faced by farmers. “The paddy fields you see behind me display two distinct colors. The green areas are off-limits due to constant attacks by Kuki militants, while the other parts represent areas where we have managed to begin agricultural activities to some extent,” shared Sana.
Furthermore, Sana explained that the Kuki militants have blocked access to the Apun Lok river, which serves as a crucial water source for agricultural activities. “Since the river is vital for our farming endeavors, the lack of access to water is severely hampering our ability to carry out agricultural activities,” he lamented.
Sana also shed light on the difficult living conditions endured by the people of Kadangband. He pointed out that the main road connecting the village to the heart of Imphal has become inaccessible due to persistent attacks by Kuki militants on the Uripok-Kangchup road, which leads to Khawairamband Bazar.
Expressing his frustration, Sana made an appeal to the state government, urging them to fulfill their promise of deploying security forces within the next two to three days to facilitate agricultural activities. He questioned the effectiveness of sending security forces only during the ploughing and sowing stages, emphasizing the vulnerability of crops once they reach maturity and the potential risk of destruction.
The farmers of Kadangband area remain deeply grateful to the 16 Battalion Border Security Forces for their unwavering protection, enabling them to resume agricultural activities. However, they continue to urge the state government to take immediate action in providing sustained security to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of their farming endeavors.