Centre, NSCN-IM stalemate continues

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NEW DELHI, December 29 (Vision Communications): Centre has begun cold shouldering the NSCN-IM leadership even as the ground situation in Nagaland continues to worsen amidst report of intermittent firing for the second day claiming three lives and five seriously injured.

Residents belonging to Sema Naga community dominated Zunheboto district asked the NSCN-IM cadres to surrender immediately and abandon the designated camp in Gathasi area for good to avoid “fratricidal killing.”  

Sources confirmed that almost every village belonging to Sema community in Zunheboto district has sent five to fifteen armed youth to the Ghatasi area to counter the NSCN-IM armed cadres. The villagers have surrounded the entire area to stop the NSCN-IM cadres from fleeing the location. NSCN-IM also sent heavily armed three platoons from Phek and Mokokchung districts designated camp as reinforcements. But they were sent back by the Assam Rifles jawans to avert fresh trouble.  

The Centre has already deployed Assam Rifles jawans in the tension prone Gathasi and Zunheboto town after the state government sent requisition communique to avert any untoward incident.

The state Home minister Kaito accompanied by government officials visited the district headquarter and held series of meetings asking people to maintain peace. Besides Assam Rifles, additional India Reserve Battalion jawans have also been deployed in the affected area.

A senior official on condition of anonymity told the Vision Communications, “We have asked the Assam Rifles to deal with the situation effectively. Since Law and Order is a state subject, Assam Rifles is there to assist the civil authority and the state police. But if situation demands drastic action to prevent violent NSCN-IM cadres from killing the innocent civilians, they will not think twice to complete their mission.”

Meanwhile, NSCN-IM self-styled minister in charge of Home Affairs issued a statement to inform the presidents of Sumi Hoho (Sema Elders group) and Sumi Totimi Hoho (Sema Women Group) that three of its cadres— ‘Sergeant’ Mapam Keishing, ‘Corporal’ Mahori and ‘Private’ Ninoto, all of them from the Zasibituo battalion (Naga Army), have been nabbed and subsequently interrogated for their involvement in December 21 molestation case at Aghuyito junction near Zunheboto town.

The statement further pointed out that as per its Naga Army Act rules and regulations (NAARR) viii article 87 & 106 clauses i & ii, the three accused have been punished with rank demotion besides imprisonment with hard labour.

However, according to Sema leaders, “NSCN-IM action is too little and a delayed attempt to pacify the mass anger. We will shut down the designated camp and force the 70 odd cadres to surrender or else we will finish all of them.”

Meanwhile NNN adds: Two more civilians were critically injured today in the confrontation between the pubic and the NSCN-IM near the NSCN-IM designated camp Mukali in Nagaland`s Zunheboto district.

15 years old boy identified as one Vikhoto and one Titolu, 40 years were injured critically in the confrontation which began at around 10:30 am.

Reports said the public of Zunheboto came out holding guns, daos, spears and machettes and attacked the NSCN-IM`s Mukali designated camp. In the process a bullet pierced the right ankle of Vikhoto and another bullet had hit the abdomen of Titolu. Both of them have been brought to a hospital in Dimapur this evening. Two other injured men from yesterday`s confrontation have also been brought to Dimapur today.

Today was the third day in which the public of Zunheboto and the NSCN-IM confronted.

One civilian was killed in yesterday`s incident.

The Sumi (Sema) frontal organisations had resolved on the eve of Christmas to flush out the NSCN-IM from all the Sumi `inhabited areas` if the guilty NSCN-IM cadres involved in the December 21 incident are not handed over to the district administration. The deadline to fulfil the demands of the Sumi frontal organisations ended on December 25.

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