IMPHAL, June 22: Three Naga militant outfits today convened a joint press conference somewhere in Tamenglong district clarifying on the reported gun battle between the NSCN (IM) and a joint team of NSCN (K) and ZUF cadres at Haochong village, Tamenglong on June 21 morning around 2am. The three militant outfits are NSCN (K), ZUF and NNC.
Clarifying on the number of casualties on its side during the said gun fight, a spokesperson of the NSCN (K) said the outfit lost three of its cadres along with two other innocent villagers during the gun fight and also claimed that a NSCN (IM) cadre could also be dead.
The joint press conference also clarified that the gun fight was not between cadres of the ZUF and the NSCN (K) cadres as was reported in some local dailies today.
Elaborating on the gun fight, the spokesperson alleged that the joint team of the NSCN (K) and the ZUF were attacked by a team of NSCN (IM) resulting in the gun fight.
The spokespersons also echoed that there is no conflict between the three outfits NSCN(K), ZUF and NNC.
They also said that they have been cooperating with one another and will continue to do so for the upliftment of the Naga society in the area.
They further alleged that the NSCN (IM) team was guided to the NSCN (K) and ZUF cadres by some local who knew the surrounding area. They arrived through a hidden path and had not used the village path before launching an attack on the camp of the joint force, they echoed.
They have also claimed that the local guide will soon be found out and take befitting action against him.
The militant spokesperson also informed that after the attack, the NSCN (IM) team left through the village road.
While going back from the attack, the NSCN (IM) team had also lied to the villagers of Khungdong-about three hours journey by foot from the gun fight location-that they are ZUF cadres and are returning after a gun fight with NSCN (K) cadres.
The NSCN (IM) was trying to create a bad image of the ZUF and the NSCN (K) among the general public and the villagers by spreading lies about fighting between the two.
Further alleging that the Haochong villagers of detaining the NSCN (K) and ZUF cadres for seven hours after the gun fight, the militant outfits further questioned who is to be blamed for the death of the two civilians; the NSCN (IM) or the other three.
They further expressed that the outfits join in the sorrow of the families of the three dead cadres and gratitude to all Church members, locals and student bodies for their participation in performing the last rites of the three cadres.