IM speaks out against 'hostility by Indian armed froces'
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, April 30 2019: Breaking its silence the ongoing impasse at Sihai village in Ukhrul district with the Assam Rifles, the NSCN-IM, has termed it as the "hostility displayed by the Indian security forces" .

In press statement issued to Newmai News Network tonight in Dimapur, the NSCN-IM said, "This is not the right time for the Indian security forces to display such hostility that will lead to brinkmanship" and added that such an "absurdity" is against the spirit of the Ceasefire Ground Rules.

The NSCN-IM expressed disappointment that, after more than 21 years of "fruitful political negotiations" and on the "threshold of signing the final agreement", what is happening at Sihai village in Ukhrul district is "extremely unfortunate" .

"It may be pointed out that in every Ceasefire Ground Rule Review Meeting held occasionally between the representatives of the Government of India and NSCN, both the entities recognized that there is the need to maintain mutual trust, understanding and respect," the NSCN-IM said.

According to the NSCN-IM, during the last Ceasefire Ground Rule Review Committee meeting held at Chumukedima, Dimapur on June 8, 2018 the Government of India team was led by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary (IS) and the NSCN-IM team led by Lt Gen (Retd) VS Atem.

"In the meeting, both the parties agreed to take all possible measures to improve the ground situation considering the importance of the progress of the ongoing Indo-Naga political negotiation and respecting the historic 3rd August, 2015 Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN," the statement pointed out.

According to the NSCN-IM, in keeping with such a spirit, it has maintained the stand to uphold the "hard earned progress" of the Indo-Naga political negotiation.

"However, the Assam Rifles sees the NSCN as its b�te noire and keep on alienating them without following any ethical rules connected with the spirit of Ceasefire Ground Rule," the NSCN-IM alleged, while adding, "Even if there is misunderstanding that may have come up because of different interpretation of Ceasefire Ground Rules there is a mechanism to follow to redress any ceasefire ground rule violation" .

The NSCN-IM added that the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) should have been informed instead of going headlong to create war-like situation and resorting to "psychological warfare by using local villagers as human shields" .

The outfit added that, for the hill area this is the time for cultivation.

"But when the village has been placed under captivity like control all farming activities have been thrown out of order.

When humane approach is set aside it only play devil to human rights," it added.

"It is pertinent to recall that having designated camps at Ukhrul district is not a new thing.

Khangkhui-Shirui forest area designated camp which was allotted in 2007 by the then Chairman of Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) Gen Kulkarni was vacated in 2009," pointed out the NSCN-IM.

In 2010, mutual understanding was made with Major General Gurung in respect of the noted camps at Chatric and Grihang, it also stated.

It existed for nearly ten years, it further said.

According to the NSCN-IM, recently Chatric camp was also vacated saying there is no authorized designated camp.

"Now, Sihai camp is targeted.

This camp, though it may be short of having the tag 'designated camp' has never come into the picture for creating law and order problem in the area.

Even the nearby villages would swear by it", the NSCN-IM added.

The statement added that, on March 1, 2019 during the CFMG official meeting, Colonel Joshi GS of IGAR stated that there is no designated camp in Ukhrul district.

"Such a misplaced interpretation of ceasefire ground rules at the whims of any officer is a clear violation of ceasefire ground rules itself.

It also made a damnation of the very purpose of signing Indo-Naga Ceasefire in 1997 to pave the way for creating conducive atmosphere for political negotiation," the statement added.

The NSCN-IM then said that the Sihai situation "created by Assam Rifles B Range (10 Sector, Brigade)" is something uncalled for.

It also said that the Assam Rifles should not have gone too "censorious" of NSCN-IM without following proper channel of addressing any misunderstanding.

"However, under the given situation that is turning acrimonious, it is better for CFMG Chairman to exercise sanity to designate any suitable place for the NSCN cadres to shift and put an end to the war-like situation.

NSCN cadres simply cannot be made to vacate without offering them an alternative location," it added.

The NSCN-IM said, "We cannot help pointing out that Ukhrul district is not Kashmir, though Kashmir like situation has been created.

Three helicopters along with drone are keeping surveillance over the camp.

There is heavy deployment of latest weapons including artillery and these are openly displayed in the local ground.

More than that, all sorts of weapons are also stationed right in the heart of the village.

This is done purposely to generate panic and fear among the villagers," the NSCN-IM said.

The outfit then said that it is not a terrorist organization that warranted such a heavy deployment of weapons.

According to the statement, around 30 paramilitary commandos were also transported by three helicopters on Monday, armed to the teeth.

"Local village ground has been occupied, displaying all the weapons to create fear psychosis among the villagers.

Heavy vehicles have brought re-enforcement," the NSCN-IM alleged.

Finally, the NSCN-IM said that, in the prevailing ceasefire period where much has been achieved during the 21 years of political negotiations, it is very unbecoming of the Assam Rifles to keep on chasing the NSCN-IM cadres.

"There is much to celebrate for the Assam Rifles once the permanent peace is established after the final political settlement is signed.

So the question is why always rub the NSCN on the wrong side," the NSCN-IM statement added.

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