Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR, Jan 14: There was a stand-off between the Assam Rifles and the NSCN-IM in Nagaland today when the entourage of Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu was prevented in a mid-way from going to Zunheboto.
NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the outfit`s chairman Isak Chisi Swu were on their way to Zunheboto, a Nagaland district but the waiting Assam Rifles stopped them at a place called Bade village, some 20 kilometres from the outfit`s camp Hebron at around 9:30 am. Around 70 vehicles were part of the NSCN-IM leadership entourage.
Sources informed Newmai News Network said there was a stand-off since then between the Naga outfit and the Assam Rifles. The matter got resolved only in the late afternoon at around 3:30 pm after which the NSCN-IM leaders returned back to their camp Hebron.
According to sources, the NSCN-IM leaders were stopped by the Assam Rifles with a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Assam Rifles told the NSCN-IM that Muivah and Swu could not visit Zunheboto without getting permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.From 9:30 am till 3:30 pm there was an intense argument between the Assam Rifles authority and the NSCN-IM leaders at Bade village. The Assam Rifles team was reportedly led by a brigadier. The Nagaland police officials along with large number of police personnel reportedly rushed to Bade village to calm the situation. Unconfirmed reports said the Nagaland government also played a role to resolve today`s impasse at Bade village. At around 3 pm the Ministry of Home Affairs reportedly allowed Muivah and Isak Swu to visit Zunheboto but with certain conditions. The MHA reportedly directed that not more than 20 vehicles can follow the NSCN-IM leaders` visit to Zunheboto. The MHA directives also reportedly asked NSCN-IM leaders not to hold meetings at Zunheboto.
Following all these developments, the NSCN-IM leaders have reportedly put off their visit to Zunheboto for the time being.
“The MHA had insulted us,” fumes Phumthing Shimrang, `chief of the army staff` of the NSCN-IM`s armed wing.
Earlier in the morning, Muivah had told the media that the have to talk to their people. “We have to talk with our people. We need interactions. More interactions with our people,” said Muivah.
It can be noted that the tension had been building since yesterday after the NSCN-IM leadership had learnt that the MHA had sealed all the roads from Hebron camp leading to Zunheboto by the Assam Rifles.
Meanwhile the NSCN-IM said today the itinerary of Muivah and Swu to Zunhebuto has been deferred on account of certain untenable conditions laid down by the Government of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) through its Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG).
One condition of the MHA for the NSCN-IM leaders`s tour to Zunheboto is that Muivah and Swu will travel without weapons. The second condition of the MHA to the NSCN-IM leaders is that personal security guards shall not carry weapons even in concealed manner. The third condition has been that the number of vehicles not to exceed twenty and the NSCN-IM leaders will not hold any public meeting or press conference
“We are extremely shocked by the immature policy of the GOI when the NSCN is holding serious political negotiation to end the more than six decades of conflict. We seriously question the stand of the government of India (GOI) and the MHA. The position taken by the MHA has nakedly exposed the true colour of the GOI and a big question on their sincerity in finding an early and honourable political solution,” the NSCN-IM today.
The outfit then condemns in the strongest term “the double standard and provocative decision” of the GOI to prevent the visit of Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah to Zunhebuto. The NSCN-IM said it considers this a policy of dividing the Nagas and deliberately excluding the Naga people from the efforts to arrive at a peaceful political solution.
“Lasting political solution can be arrived at only through genuine democratic process of involving the people. Therefore, we question the deliberate strategy of the GOI to exclude the Naga people from the peace process and that certainly will have grave ramifications,” the NSCN-IM stated while adding, “Failing to understand and value the steps taken by the Nagas to seek peaceful political solution to the decades old political conflict, we observe, is a serious political bankruptcy within the Indian leadership.”
The NSCN-IM then thanks the Sumi people including the Sumi Hoho, student communities and Church fraternity for their earnest effort to welcome the `collective leadership,` Chairman Isak Chishi Swu and General Secretary, Th. Muivah and their entourage. “We learnt that you have given your utmost efforts. We are sincerely moved. We thank you, the Sumi people. We will not fail to come and we will not leave you behind in ther the final political solution,” it concluded.