One more civilian injured as NSCN(IM), Sumis clash

The number of civilians injured in the armed resistance of Sumi people against the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) rose to five after one more was injured as the NSCN(IM) and Sumi people exchanged fire again at Mukalimi in Zunheboto district on Sunday.

The Sumis, one of the major Naga tribes, marched to the Mukalimi designated camp of the outfit after their frontal organisations called a campaign to flush NSCN(IM) militants out of their areas.

On Saturday, NSCN(IM) workers opened fire on Sumi protesters, killing one and injuring four. The Sumi organisations called for the campaign as the militant outfit did not respond to their demand for handing over to the district administration the NSCN(IM) members who had allegedly attacked two women, and some men accompanying them, on December 21.

Nagaland Home Commissioner Temjen Toy said on Sunday: “Such a situation [as in Zunheboto] cannot be allowed to continue as it will likely lead to more violence and bloodshed. Therefore, in the interest of restoring peace and harmony in the State, the only option now open is that the camp at Mukalimi should be vacated, and this is being taken up by the State government with appropriate authorities.”

A senior district police officer told The Hindu that a huge crowd, including some armed with guns, had taken positions half-a-km from the camp, asking the NSCN(IM) to vacate it and go out of the Mukali and Sumi areas. “An exchange of fire took place, in which one civilian was injured.”

Mr. Toy said the State government had made efforts to prevent any confrontation between members of the public and NSCN(IM) workers stationed at Mukalimi, but it was not possible to prevent the thousands of people from proceeding to the camp. Naga civil organisations — Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association and Naga Students’ Federation — which met top NSCN(IM) leaders at Dimapur on Sunday demanded that the “culprits” be handed over to the administration through civil societyorganisations.

“However, it was quiet unfortunate that the NSCN(IM) leaders could not give any positive response; instead, they referred the matter to the collective leadership [NSCN(IM) chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah]. An ultimatum was sent to the collective leadership in order to resolve the problem which they themselves have created,” these organisations said in a statement. -HT

People marching toward NSCN(IM) designated camp

28Dec. Hundreds of Sumi people, incensed over an alleged rape and molestation attempt of two female passengers by four NSCN(IM)cadres on December 21, on Saturday marched toward the outfit’s designated camp in Nagaland’s Zunheboto district as security forces set up barricades to protect it.

District administration officials said that proper security arrangements were in place to avoid escalation of the situation.

Four NSCN (IM) cadres had waylaid a Zunheboto-bound vehicle near Aghuito town and allegedly attempted to rape and molest two female passengers and injured two other male passengers accompanying them in the early hours of December 21.

The Sumi people under the apex district body, Sumi Hoho, held a rally the next day and demanded that the four NSCN(IM) cadres be handed over to the district administration within December 25.

With the deadline passing, the Sumi Hoho, on Saturday launched a ‘Flush out Mission’ and declared non-cooperation with the NSCN(IM), its secretary Vihuto Asumi told PTI.

He said that hundreds of volunteers from all Sumi villages were marching toward the designated camp of NSCN(IM) at Mukali, 30-40 km from Zunheboto town.

He also said that Sumi Hoho leaders tried to pacify the people, but failure by NSCN(IM) to hand over the culprits despite a written assurance within the deadline, angered the people.

Home minister, G Kaito Aye had also tried to pacify the angry people and held consultations with Sumi Hoho leaders in Zunheboto on Friday, but it was in vain. -PTI

Will vacate if Govt. provides safe passage: NSCN (I-M)

Dimapur 30 December. 2013 (NPN): NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser T.T. Among has said that if the state government can guarantee safe passage to NSCN (I-M) cadres, presently under siege by several thousand Sumi volunteers, the group would cooperate and consider vacating the camp.
The NSCN (I-M) kilonser said in an exclusive interview to Nagaland Post when his attention was drawn to the state government’s suggestion to vacate Mukalimi. Among was also critical of the state government’s failure in handling the situation in not promulgating Sec. 144 CrPC despite having enough force to control the mob.

The NSCN (I-M) kilonser also alleged that the NSCN (K) was taking advantage of the situation in Zunheboto district by helping the volunteers to fire upon the NSCN (I-M) cadres in Mukalimi camp. He however asked how could the volunteers get hold of sophisticated weapons to fire at the NSCN (I-M) cadres inside Mukalimi camp unless they were supplied by the NSCN (K)?
Among said such reports were received that raised strong suspicion of involvement of NSCN (K) but were yet to be confirmed.
Further, he accused NSCN (K) of surrounding the camp on one side and public and Assam Rifles on the other side.
Asked why NSCN (I-M) cadres fired on the public, Among said that despite being warned not to cross the “red line” the public surged ahead “and along with rival group” and fired towards NSCN (I-M) cadres. This compelled NSCN (I-M) to fire back in “self-defense, “ he said.

“We did not go out and fire at them- they did. We are defensive but they are being offensive” said the kilo kilonser.
Among also condemned the alleged poisoning of the water source, used by the NSCN (I-M) at Mukalimi and described it as a clear violation of human rights. He also maintained that the heinous crimes on December 21 were not committed by the cadres in Mukalimi camp and therefore, urged Naga public to be sensible and not to vent their anger on those within the camp.
While expressing regret that Zunheboto situation could not be solved through peaceful negotiations, Among said that cadres now cannot vacate the camp as they were fully surrounded by the public, NSCN (K) and AR. Among also claimed that the NSCN (I-M) was yet to order any reinforcement for Mukalimi but wanted to settle the matter amicably.
He also confirmed that a delegation of Naga Hoho, NSF and NMA representativeswent to meet the NSCN (I-M) leaders to ask for handing over the accused NSCN (I-M)cadres to the district administration. Among said the request to hand over the three cadres was rejected on the ground that the NSCN (I-M) government is a “recognized government” and an “entity” and that being a Naga government, Nagas should not lose faith on the judgment of their government. Admitting that December 21 incident “though not rape, was as good as rape” and also an inhuman act which has brought shame and disgraced the government, Among said that such actions went against the belief and principles of NSCN (I-M).
On the gravity of the crime committed on December 21, Among informed that the NSCN (I-M) “security committee” wanted to award capital punishment to all the three accused. However, he said the same was not agreed upon by NSCN (I-M) yaruiwo Isak Chishi Swu and also by Sümi Hoho. He informed that yaruiwo also lamented at the heinous crime and said that the culprits must be punished but not amounting to capital punishment. The NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser also informed that the “security committee” has awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and court-martialed‘sgt.’ Mapam Keishing and awarded two years rigorous imprisonment and court-martialed‘corpl.’ Mahori and ‘pvt.’ Ninoto.
He reiterated that the three accused could not be handed over to the state government as NSCN (I-M) was a government itself and would stand by its judgment. Further, the kilo kilonser however said that if the public was not satisfied with the judgment of the committee they could request for a review by the collective leadership. On the fourth accused, Among disclosed that the accused was a mere public, the driver of the hired vehicle used by their cadres.
Pointing out that NSCN (I-M) did send a “goodwill team” to settle the matter, Among said that when the team was in the house of Sümi Hoho president the mob surrounded them and made them undertake a signed agreement under “duress.” He also said that Sümi Hoho should initiate and try to settle the matter amicably and that the Hoho should also control the mob.