IMPHAL, November 1: Tension brews in the surrounding jungles of Gaddai Hills, Tamenglong since the October 30 fierce gun battle between NSCN (IM) and ZUF with cadres of both the militant outfits suspected to be stationed in the periphery of the jungles.
Five cadres including three of NSCN (IM) and two of ZUF were killed during the gun battle on October 30 which lasted for more than 5 hours.
Police sources said after both side suffered casualties during gun fight, cadres of the two proscribed outfits are still lying low in the vast jungles of the area, speculating another major showdown between the two outfits.
It is also learnt that inhabitants of Tamenglong Ward No 5 the nearest village to the location of the gun fight had fled from the village following the gun fight. They had slowly started to trickle back into the village, however they are still afraid and on their toes.
Post mortem on all five dead bodies from the gun battle were conducted yesterday at the Tamenglong district hospital and out of which three dead bodies were claimed by family members yesterday itself. The remaining two dead bodies were claimed by family members today.
The dead bodies claimed yesterday were that of ZUF cadres Rathailung Gonmei, 23 son of Tiangkai Gonmei of Awang Khun Pt 1, Lanhung Khumba, 25 son of Shaku Khumba of Oktam Puichi and NSCN (IM) cadre Benjamin Panmei, 23 son of David Panmei of Charamram village, Tousem sub division.
The two dead bodies claimed today were that of NSCN (IM) cadres Japhek Ayimi, 30 son of Vipho Ayimi of Teoshezu villahe, Dansiripar district, Nagaland and Moisek Tangkhul, 25 son of Somra Range, Ukhrul.
Meanwhile Newmai News Network adds: The Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) has said that whether the Nagas get `Independence` or not the Zeliangrong people and their lands will be always the `Zeliangrongs”, said A Dangmei, spokesman of the ZUF.
The ZUF leader said by `birth the Zeliangrongs are always the Zeliangrongs` and it does not matter whether Nagas attain Independence or not. “The lands of Zeliangrongs will be taken care of by the Zeliangrong people,” A Dangmei asserted.
He then questions as to why the NSCN-IM has been sending its `boys` to Tamenglong district for attacking the ZUF when the talk phase of the NSCN-IM with New Delhi is reportedly in a crucial stage. “The NSCN-IM leadership should not waste their time to attack us. Instead they should be concentrating on its mission,” A Dangmei advised.
The ZUF also questions as to why the NSCN-IM has been after the former outfit.
Meanwhile, the ZUF expressed its heartfelt gratitude to the Tamenglong district based civil society organisations for taking utmost care of the dead bodies of ZUF`s `Lance Corporal` Rathailung and Lance Corporal Lanhung who were killed in the October 30 shoot out.
After the condolence service at Tamenglong, the Zeliangrong civil organisations arranged the transportation of the two dead bodies to their respective villages and for this we will remain grateful to our Zeliangrong civil societies, A Dangmei said.
Meanwhile, the ZUF expressed its regret for all the trouble given to the public on October 30. “We do not like to create such a situation where fear grips the psyche of the general public,” said the ZUF and blamed the NSCN-IM for the whole pandemonium.