TODAY -

IM-SF stand off intensifies, 'action' shifts to camps at Nagaland and Manipur
including Hebron Area domination, says Army, IM accuses AR of violating truce
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 20 2012: It is not exactly on the scale and intensity of the stand off between the 17 Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) over a camp of the latter at Shirui village in Ukhrul district from January 19 to January 24 in 2009, but reports have streamed in that troops of Assam Rifles have surrounded the camps of the NSCN (IM) at Oklong in Senapati district, Bunning in Tamenglong district and Phungchong in Chandel district.

Assam Rifles troops have also reportedly laid seige at Camp Hebron.

The new development comes close on the heels of the crackdown launched by the security forces against the NSCN (IM) at Nagaland during the last few days in which 13 cadres were rounded up and their arms seized and culminating with the retaliation from the rebel group, which hauled up a JCO of the security force along with his arms and two other colleagues.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, spokesman of 57 Mountain Division Colonel Ajay Choudhury said that there is no question of surrounding or cordoning off the camps of the rebel group.

"These are routine stuff," he said and added that this is a practise that has been going on all the while.



Back then in 2009, AR troops fence the camp of the NSCN (IM) at Shirui village
Back then in 2009, AR troops fence the camp of the NSCN (IM) at Shirui village : File pic


The troops are not stationed around the camps, said the spokesman and added that the troops have returned to base.

Such routine patrolling will continue.

There is no specific target as such, he said but added that routine patrolling, area domination and area sanitisation around the camps have been carried out near all the camps of the NSCN (IM), including Camp Hebron.

Independent sources informed The Sangai Express today afternoon that security forces have surrounded the NSCN (IM) camp at Oklong in Senapati district since last night and added that they were still there till late into the evening.

Apprehensive of any open outbreak of violence, villagers of Bunning in Tamenglong have reportedly left their homes and are taking shelter at Tamei, said sources.

Newmai News Network adds : The stand off was triggered by the Thursday incident when the NSCN-IM detained five Assam Rifles jawans after snatching their weapons.

The Assam Rifles personnel travelling in a truck allegedly 'trespassed' into the 20 metre range of Hebron Camp violating the cease fire ground rules which prompted the Naga militants to act, a source said.

Since early morning today, about 200 jawans of Assam Rifles scattered themselves on all the approach roads to Hebron Camp, off Dimapur and conducted intense frisking exercise.

The frisking operation is reportedly still underway till the time of filing of this story this evening.

Four senior NSCN-IM leaders including kilonsers (NSCN-IM ministers) were detained for the whole day and released in the evening by the Assam Rifles.

The four NSCN-IM leaders were heading towards Hebron Camp for a meeting, according to a source.

Personnel of 29 Assam Rifles and 32 Assam Rifles with their respective commanding officers are leading the operation.

In Manipur, security forces in large number have been rushed to the vicinity of NSCN-IM camps as a pre-emptive move.

Sources said that personnel of 10th Dogra Regiment are carrying out intense patrolling near the NP Battalion of the NSCN-IM camp at Piulong (Buning) near Tamei in Tamenglong district while personnel of the 5th and 43rd Assam Rifles are doing the same at Hothrong Brigade of the Naga outfit near Oklong in Senapati district and in Chandel district, central forces are enhancing the security measure at the AC Battalion of the NSCN-IM.

A separate source said that Kishumung Battalion of the NSCN-IM in Ukhrul district is also facing similar 'provocation' from the Assam Rifles today.

Another source said that chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG), Government of India, Maj Gen (Retired) N George is camping in Dimapur to defuse the highly charged situation.

Meetings are also underway at Rangapahar Army base.

Meanwhile, weapons of the Assam Rifles personnel confiscated by the NSCN-IM are yet to be returned, according to another source.

The NSCN-IM leaders stationed at Hebron Camp are reportedly waiting for the decision of Muivah and Swu who are camping in New Delhi presently.

The Naga outfit said that much water has flown down the Dhansiri river (a river in Dimapur) when the Indo-Naga ceasefire was signed in 1997 and in numerous occasions the Assam Rifles have taken extreme pleasure in rubbing the shoulder of NSCN-IM on the wrong side.

"But NSCN acted in the manner to show its commitment to go for a negotiated political settlement rather than military solution that has been proved meaningless and futile for the past many years.

Cease ground rule violations comes in heaps in the hands of the Assam Rifles.

But NSCN stood its ground not to hit back despite provocation that really put to test its nerve of endurance.This time when the 12th Assam Rifles came so near the designated Hebron Camp it was never done by mistake but deliberately to test the reaction capacity of NSCN.This is politically not correct for the AR troops as it goes against the very spirit of Ceasefire that is running more than 15 years," the ministry of information and publicity of the Naga outfit said today.

The NSCN-IM said the fact that Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) Chairman Maj.Gen (Retd.) N.George admiited the mistake of AR troops sound ok.

But when the troops started to inch closer to the Hebron Camp in a more aggressive manner it carries another meaning that reflects breach of trust, it added.

The outfit added that during the past period of ceasefire Assam Rifles have taken possession of huge number of NSCN-IM weapons that had nothing to do with ceasefire violation and this issue continues to be placed during the ceasefire ground rule meetings.

But NSCN-IM's demand for return of the weapons was never accepted in good spirit though assurrance was given that the matter will be look into.

Unacceptable reason was however given on the where about of the NSCN weapons, it alleged.

."For peace to prevail the aggressor must take the initiative to build up confidence and faith in the eyes of the NSCN and public.So far AR is yet to do any such thing in the area leading to Hebron Camp.

NSCN in the face of direct attack on ceasefire ground rules shall still stand committed for peaceful approach in keeping with the hard earned ceasefire," the Naga outfit affirmed.


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