TODAY -

Two die in shootout; VCLA, ZCOs condemn
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, December 17 2023: A fierce gunfight ensued between two armed groups - ZUF (J) and NSCN (IM) - in Lamdangmei village area of Noney district resulting in the dead of two ZUF (J) cadres and one NSCN (IM) cadre injured on Sunday around 7.10 am.

The deceased ZUF (J) cadres have been identified as Gaichunlung Gangmei (47) from Namdailuang, Cachar district in Assam, and Dai-gong Gangmei alias Kiakna (27) from Luangchum, Awangkhul Part-1, Noney district.

The injured NSCN (IM) cadre has been identified as Ramreikan alias Akan from Shirui village, Ukhrul district.

The gunfight took place near Lamdangmei village's Prayer Mountain (Old Helipad) under Khoupum Police Station, Noney district, as confirmed by police sources.

Upon receiving the information, Noney district police, along with a team from Khoupum PS and central security forces deployed in the nearby areas, reached the site, prompting both groups to cease fire and vacate the area.

Subsequently, the bodies were discovered during a search operation.

A case has been registered, and investigations are currently underway.

Later, an emergency meeting was convened by the Villages Council Longmai Area (VCLA), representing villages in the Noney area, at the office of Longmai Bazar Board Office and discussed the shootout between NSCN (IM) and ZUF (Jenchui).

The council expressed dissatisfaction for disregarding repeated appeals by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the area against such violent conflicts and provocative movement of armed cadres in the residential areas and their vicinities.

Following a thorough deliberation, the meeting unanimously decided to launch non-cooperation movement against both NSCN-IM and ZUF (J) across all villages falling under the Villages Council Longmai Area, effective immediately and until further notification.

The council emphasised that any group or individual involved in activities potentially leading to further bloodshed would be brought to justice in accordance with the law of the land.

Additionally, the meeting resolved to organise a people's convention in the near future to discern the escalating situation.

A joint consultative meeting of Civil Societies Organisations within the Zeliangrong community held at Namdunlong Community Hall, Imphal on Sunday, also deliberated on the escalating situation in the state, specifically concerning the Zeliangrong people's position.

Prominent leaders and speakers voiced their concerns, unanimously condemning the recurring gunfights between NSCN IM) and ZUF within Zeliangrong territory.

The meeting addressed the recent incident in Lamdangmei Chiru's village, where two ZUF cadres and one NSCN (IM) cadre reportedly lost their lives in a gunfight.

Notably, both NSCN (IM) and ZUF have existing ceasefire agreements with the Government of India.

Despite the ongoing peace talks between NSCN (IM) and the Government of India since 1997, and the Cessation of Operation agreement signed between the Government of India and ZUF in 2022, the Zeliangrong areas continue to witness frequent armed conflicts.

The meeting participants shared their views that the Government of India should be held accountable for the unrest, attributing it to mishandling, inefficiency, and ineffectiveness.

In response to the tragic loss of lives, the meeting urged the Government of India to take full responsibility and provide necessary ex-gratia and compensatory benefits as per relevant provisions and rules.

Leaders of various CSOs, including Zeliangrong Union (ZU), Zeliangrong Baudi (ZB), Rongmei Naga People's Organisation (RNPO), Rongmei Naga Council (RNC) Manipur, Zeliangrong Youth Front (ZYF), Rongmei Naga Students' Organisation (RNSO) Manipur, Zeliangrong United Committee Manipur Valley (ZU-CMV), Kabui Mothers' Association (KAMA), along with social workers, activists, intellectuals, former organisation leaders, and village representatives, attended the meeting.

Social worker Kadilin Gangmei moderated the meeting while ZU (AMN) president Azang Longmei, ZB (AMN) vice-president Titus Kamei, RNPO (AMN) presidents Sabastian Kamei, and KAMA president Atongpi attended as presidium members.


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