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E-Pao! Opinion - Oh! No, not again!!!

Oh! No, not again!!!

By: Donn Morgan Kipgen *



‘There is nothing stable to the world; uproar’s your only music”
— John Keats

As we all know, something’s going to give as the ill-wind blows. And give in it did, but in most unexpected, stunning and outrageous manner. Yes, indeed, the inter-ethnic enmity amongst the CHIKIMs UG militant outfits is ‘avoidable’, bloody gunbattles between rival Kuki UG outfits are ‘preventable’, and intermittent factional killings are bearable to some extent but the recent ‘massacre’ of 10 KLA representatives by NSCN(IM) cadres at Tangkhul Hundung Village in a most controversial manner was simply unbelievable.

It beggars to believe that, after the early ‘90s ethnic clashes, such reputed UG outfit, i.e the much respected NSCN (IM) could just slaughter 10 regular cadres of another Christianed-tribal UG outfit which they had allegedly ‘parleyed’ with and sent them home unarmed to kingdom come without any conceivable rhyme or reason. Of course, with due respect and sympathy to the bereaved family members, once a person puts on combat dress and carries firearm, he has sealed his own bloody fate with destiny to kill or be killed.

Theirs’ to honour and follow orders, theirs’ to do or die and theirs’ to sacrifice their lives for the very cause they believe in. But, it should be in more profitable and in courageously befitting circumstance. The incident brings up memories of nine ‘surrendered’ KNF(MC) cadres allegedly executed by Col Bishnoi’s 14th AR on 13th Sept 2007, at Turibari, IT Road.

Not surprisingly, it was none other than ‘harassed’ local village authorities who gave the mediaper-sons the names of all nine victims in combat dresses. Incredible as it was, they also gave two other full names of a ‘protected’ KNF(MC) militant allegedly operating with the 14th AR post near Kangpokpi!!. Apart from Turibari and Tingpibung manslaughters, 3 juvenile Kuki Kids (two 13 yrs old and a 14 yrs old) were reportedly picked out from 50 odds males during a triple-combing operation and were killed in ‘sharp encounter’ at Gelnel, Sadar Hills.

Another most outrageous incident was the murder of two innocent housewives and a one-month old baby on 5th May, 2005 by the 14 AR Jawans in civvies during a Mother’s Day preparation period at Saitu. The promise of an enraged company commander of ‘going out with a blaze of glory in 19 days transfer period’ was fulfilled. Not even a single male was arrested, detained or beaten.

With so many rival factions and ethnicised-Kuki UG outfits working along with partners-in-arms, even the MPHQ, IGAR(S) HQ, 57th Mtn Div HQ, media-persons and political leaders will surely be confused or misled. Yes, indeed, the MPSC could make a good question like - ‘Write an essay on ideology and factional wars of attrition amongst Kuki UG outfits’! Going by the on-going situation, the NSCN(IM) cannot be blamed alone for eliminating 10 KLA cadres. Any UG outfit without long-term partnership would be so glad to disarm and execute a factional group in any possible way for such a large number of automatic and assault rifles plus extra ammos to impress the local population and other rival UG outfits. Of course, there were no sign or physical evidences of a fierce gun-battle between that two rival well-armed UG militants at Tangkhul Hundung village playground just like the Turibari Massacre.

None of the victims had ammunition pouches and back-packs etc and most of them received a precision fatal gunshot wounds on their heads and chest with some shots from the back. The over all nature of the gunshot wounds technically suggested that those precision wounds could not have been received during a face-to-face gunbattle. But whatever the case might be, the 10 unfortunate victims should never have gone there at the first place, thus they were killed by the NSCN(IM) in their own den. They really had no business to be lying low at that place under any circumstances.

Having a near volatile stand-off over area of domination about three years back, using a vehicle in hostile area and disregarding the very presence of well-armed NSCN(IM) militants and without any official MOU between them, the elimination of 10 unwary KLA cadres in a wrong place is a case of sheer tactical harakiri.

A couple of months back, as reported in visual media, there was a day long gunbattle, allegedly between a combined forces of the KLA-KNA and KRA-IM cadres around Maphou Dam area. This incident reportedly occurred after an hour long gunbattle between the AR and KRA cadres somewhere in Saikul area on that morning; no casualty was reported by the law enforcement agencies.

To make enemy is a bad thing and to attack a “friendly force” is another thing. So, the calculated use of past and present memories is of paramount importance when it comes to high-risk armed activities. Frankly speaking, the Almighty God gave all human beings a brain to work and survive with. Since all the victims of Tangkhul Hundung’s killing field wilfully put themselves into harm’s way right into the all-welcoming hands of the NSCN(IM) cadres disregarding the interests of the Kuki Nation, the real answers should also come from all Kuki UG outfits’ leaders and hawkish politicians concerned to match the answers given by the NSCN (IM) leadership.

Without a good presentable reason(s) and tactically sound purpose, the IM cadres under just one area commander could not have independently carried out such a job by breaking two ceasefire ground rules after allowing heavily armed KLA cadres camping very deep into his area of jurisdiction in such a stunningly deceptive manoeuvre. The Govt authorities concerned should also inquire as to how and why the two rival UG outfits’ militants carry firearms in battle-dress to move freely in total violation of the GOI-NSCN(IM) Ceasefire and SOP ground rules.

It would be most advisable that this execution of 10 KLA cadres by IM militants should not be taken on communal line. This is the end-result of much avoidable bloody factional clashes over the past few months since the unfortunate assassination of the KLA founding leader, Pu Letkholun, who reportedly announced peaceful co-existence of all communities in that areas a week or so before his untimely shocking demise. Perhaps, there could have been a ‘curse’ or dying words of damnation for that act of treachery by their founding leader. Whatever the case might be, let’s all hope sanity would prevail upon needless insanity.

The Kuki and Naga citizens have had enough painful memories of the bloody ethnic war 12 years ago. Enough is enough.


Donn Morgan Kipgen wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on September 09th, 2007


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