|27th Jan 2008 npn|
The Sumi and Sangtam at Shishimi village un-der Kiphire District were living together as one socially, politically, religiously etc etc., since last 60-70 years under one administration. Many inter-marriages between the two communities have taken place since the time of our forefathers.
However, on 11th Jan. ’07 the Sangtam Students’ dissociated from Sumi Students Union and attended USSC annual conference at Sangphor Village, and on 29th Dec. 07 established themselves as ‘Singsi Local Students’ Union’. Further, on 1st Jan, ’08 one Tsaseo Sangtam, GB and Shikuto Sangtam, GB made a declaration that henceforth, Sumi & Sangtam shall live as Sumi & Sangtam shall live separately as two tribes socially, politically, religiously etc etc., which created more confusion in the minds of Sumi and therefore we (Sumis) convened a joint general meeting on 17th Jan ’08 to amicably resolve the issue had there been any. But unfortunately only three GB’s from their (Sangtam) side attended the meeting. However, they left the meeting without even trying to resolve the issue therefore, according to their (Sangtam) declaration, Sumi decided to have a separate fellowship.
Then, on 18th Jan. ’08 one Shitoyi Sangtam, GB Shishimi (Singsi) had informed one Tungseli who was at Kiphire over the phone that clashes had taken placed between Sumi & Sangtam at the Viliage although there was no such incident. Again on the same day they had removed all the firewood and stones (boulders) in and around the Church compound and shifted elsewhere. On 19th Jan’08 when Sumi were about to have evening fellowship (service) in the Church as decided earlier, the Sangtams mostly comprising of matured and active male and females joined in accusing and intimidating us (Sumis). However, on sensing unwanted situation, we (Sumis) tried to calm them and appealed not to defile the sanctity of the Church but in spite of our request, one Late. Seopi Sangtam started beating one Toshiyi Sumi, and then Ghozheli Sangtam & Niqheli Sangtam took out the pieces of CGI pipe which they brought hiding inside their shawl and started banging Toshiyi & Vikato. Again Toyili W/O Tsaseo started throwing chilly powder on the faces of Alhoshe, Khekato & Abel. All those incident took place inside the Church sensing more danger, we (Sumis) started fleeing for our lives jumping over the window, but to our surprise the Sangtams mostly youth with the following objects as their weapons surrounded us and started beating the Sumis.
The objects they used as weapons were chiliy powder, CGI pipe pieces, knives, Airgun barrels clubbed with nails, 3×4 timber, bore gun etc etc.
While fleeing for our lives Tsaseo GB DB knocked down Lotoli with piece of CGI pipe and as Samuel Sumi tried to pacify, he was also knocked down by Alipa & Aheyi Sangtam with a club fixed with nails then followed banging and knocking down Sumis by the Sangtam womenfolk’s with the said objects supplied by Khetoli W/O Obed Sangtam, a Pastor with Tsaseo attempting to fire at the Sumis, however, Ghokhuzhe Sumi somehow managed to snatch the gun. In the meantime, Ahoto Sangtam stabbed Abel Sumi VG 2 I/c and acting Pastor Shishimi, repeatedly over the latter’s head, yet he did retaliate. The Sangtams armed with said objects attempted to massacre Sumi’s in a pre-planned manner as the above statement clearly indicates. And in the process of attacking Sumi’s by the Sangtam mob, they themselves have beaten and thrashed to death Late. Seopi Sangtam and injured several others, perhaps on mistaken identity, as all the Sumis were fleeing for their lives even as Samuel who was badly injured on his head was rushing to Siti town to inform the Viliage Guards of the incident, met up with Sepichem Sangtarn S/o Tsaseo GB, but did not do any harm on him rather gave a lift and safely dropped him at Siti Town by the formers vehicle.
Khekhato V. Aye, Chairman, Sumi Community, Shishimi Village.