Indefinite economic blockade in Nagaland worsens, militants open fire

| Updated: Dec 14, 2016 14:07 IST

Kohima (Nagaland) [India], Dec.14 (ANI): Not paying heed to the warning and appeal from the Ministry Home Affairs, the United Naga Council's indefinite economic blockade has worsened, with militants opening fire on several people and leaving two of them injured. One of the injured was identified as Mohammad Saluhar Rahman, working as a handyman in a truck. The truck heading towards Imphal from Jiribam was transporting goods and came under fire around 11 p.m. at Tupul Village on Tuesday. The second person injured was identified as Ibomcha, a truck driver hailing from the adjoining village of Khaidem Awang Leikai Village. The incident took place around 10.30 p.m., between Awang Khul Village and Noney. Angered by the brutal gun attack, a large number of residents from Khaidem Awang Leikai at Khumbong Bazar intensified their counter agitations against the UNC. Immediately, state forces led by Additional Superintendent of Police, S. Ibomcha Singh, were rushed to the spot to control the situation. It can be recalled that the incident took place just few hours after MHA's appealed to the United Naga Council (UNC) to lift its "illegal" blockade'. In a statement issued to the media yesterday, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) said they represent the Naga people and their political aspirations and, therefore, take full responsibility for their wellbeing and protection. Taking serious note of the 'incessant assault on the political and historical rights of the Nagas by the Government of Manipur, backed by the Central Government,' the NSCN (IM) declared that this 'treacherous policy will lead to endless confrontation and will jeopardise the ongoing peace process.' Stating that the Nagas have come to the negotiating table with the honest intention to sincerely resolve the decades-old conflict, the NSCN (IM) said that its recent actions were in line with the framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015. The declaration of the hills of Manipur being declared disturbed areas and the sending of central forces to Naga areas took the Nagas by surprise, said the NSCN (IM). "Is this a sign of sincerity or seeking peaceful political solution? We are compelled to ask this question to the Government of India," it added. "We conclude that the Central Government and the Government of Manipur are deliberately joining hands to divide and suppress the Naga people. This treacherous policy will lead to endless confrontation and will surely jeopardise the ongoing peace process," they said. Taking pot shots at Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the NSCN (IM) said the former is aiming to communalise the Naga vote bank on the one side and create differences between the Meiteis and Kukis on the other. "It is a deliberate conspiracy to gain political mileage because of the impending 2017 election in Manipur," NSCN (IM) said. Fully endorsing the protest of the Naga people under the aegis of the United Naga Council, the NSCN (IM) said that this sinister attempt of Ibobi Singh to divide the Nagas in Manipur by dislocating and weakening them in different districts shall not be accepted by the Naga people. The Nagas have been defending their lands, population and politics over the centuries and this would remain as the tallest call to the very last soul of Nagas, declared the NSCN (IM). Slamming the arrest of UNC president Gaidon Kamei and secretary S K Stephen, NSCN (IM) said that the Government of India must initiate positive steps for the unconditional release of the UNC leaders and withdraw all Central forces and initiate political dialogue with the UNC and the Naga people. "The Nagas will not accept any form of imposition or division of land in the name of administrative convenience or development or any other hidden agenda, said the statement and added that "this kind of policy by the Government of India is too treacherous. Nagas will not accept nor will they bow down come what may." (ANI)