Apprehension of three senior cadres of the NSCN (IM) by troops of the Assam Rifles triggered a storm of protest in Senapati district disrupting vehicular traffic along the Imphal-Dimapur national highway since last night.
However, the vehicular traffic resumed after the protesters lifted the roadblocke this evening following release of the cadres.
Tension mounted in Senapati district headquarters since last night as people protested the apprehension of the cadres by blocking the highway.
During the road bandh all kinds of vehicles including supply trucks and paggener services coming towards the district heqadquarters from both sides of the highway remained stranded.
In a release PIB (Defence Wing) confirmed apprehension of three “high ranking active cadres” of the NSCN (IM) during an operation between Senapati and Hengbung by Maram battalion.
One 9mm pistol with three live rounds and Rs 10,000 were recovered from them, the release said.
The three are identified as Capt PK Akas (41) son of Pfokrehrii of village Kaibi PS Tadubi, Senapati District, Lt Ashang Kashung (41) son of Wonmi Kashung of village Kachai, PS Samtal, Ukhrul District and SS Cpl N Elvis Kayina (26), son of S Nikhini Kayina of village Makhrelui PS Senapati.
The Defence Wing accused the trio of extorting money from trucks plying on the national highway-2 and also involving in nefarious activities. The cadres were handed over to Lamphel police station of Imphal West, it said.
Reacting to agitations by the people against the apprehension the release said armed cadres of any organisation indulging in extortions are threat to peace and security and all concerned must support the endeavour of the security forces.
Enraged womenfolk imposed lighting bandh along Imphal-Dimapur road since 10 pm last night while all business establishments in the district headquarters remained closed today.
The women protestors staged sit-in in front of 25AR Coy, located at Senapati since 11pm last night till morning. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of DC Senapati office this morning and staged sit-in in front of the Senapati police station till late evening.
Hundreds of interstate buses, wingers and trucks were seen stranded from Taphou Kuki villages on Imphal side while similar scene was witnessed at Karong on Dimapur side.
The agitating womenfolk demanded that the district police should ensure release of the cadres. They also warned SP Senapati that he would be held responsible for any untoward incident.
The protesters charged that while the Central government is committed to solving the political demands of the Nagas apart from the existing ceasefire between the NSCN-IM and the Centre the Assam Rifles are attempting to disrupt the ongoing talks between the NSCN-IM and the Centre.
One women leader said “Senapati is a peace zone’ where uniformed personnel and civil populace live in peace. But unfortunately the Assam Rifles disrupted the peaceful coexistence of the people frequently by giving one reason or other.”
There is no report of any untoward incident during the bandh along the highways till the filing of this report.
A late night reliable source informed that the three arrested cadres were released on medical grounds and the lightning bandh along Imphal-Dimapur highway was called off after the release of the three at 7:30 pm.