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Zunheboto public rally condemns Dec 21 incident

K.V. Nurumi, ZUNHEBOTO, DEC 22 (NPN)
Published on 23 Dec. 2013 12:29 AM IST
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Hundreds of citizens in Zunheboto town, expressed outrage and protested against the incident at Aghuito town in the wee hours of Saturday, where four NSCN (I-M) cadres waylaid a Zunheboto-bound Tata Sumo and attempted to “rape” and “molest” two female passengers besides inflicting grievous injuries to two other male passengers.
Addressing the rally Sunday noon at police point, Sumi Hoho president Hovishe Arkha condemned the actions carried out by the four NSCN (I-M) cadres. He said even missionaries now faced guns purchased with the sweat and toil of the common people.
Arkha said Sumi women were the most priced and most respected by society and the act of the armed cadres, who attempted to rape and murder the two female passengers, was an utter disrespect and contempt for the entire womenfolk.
Sumi Totimi Hoho (STH) president Kitoli Naje termed the incident as “despicable” and which should never be allowed to be inflicted upon our children. She read out statements by the female victims, narrating the treatment meted out during their hour-long ordeal.
Naje expressed shock at the inhuman act the NSCN (I-M) men who ordered the females to strip then molested and physically assaulted them with an iron rod and stick. She also refuted the claim made by the NSCN (I-M) cadres, that they had only frisked vehicles under the instructions of the STH to check the inflow of alcohol.
Sumi Kukami Hoho vice-president Vikuto Nurumi said such acts were never heard of in the past and the entire GBs of the Sumi community condemned it. He described the incident as “unfortunate” and perpetrated by people with inhuman behaviour on the Sumis.
The strongest condemnation came from SBAK (Mount Nito) youth secretary who said church workers have now become the target of errant underground cadres. He said for Christians, it was now their “new enemy.” Terming the act as “dastardly”, the SBAK youth secretary said Sumi believers would have to give a second thought to pray for “national workers” if such incidents occur in future.
Representatives from Zunheboto Town GB Association, Nagaland GBs Association and Zunheboto Town Youth Organisation also spoke at the rally.
One of the victims, a missionary in Arunachal Pradesh, narrated the ordeal she and her companion underwent on the fateful Saturday morning. She said despite showing her identity card, the cadres showered her with abusive and indecent words. They also forced her to strip off all her clothes.
The victim said she was hit with an iron rod on her thighs, when refused to oblige. She said the cadres called her “rendi (prostitute) missionary” and even asked her how many times she had slept with the co-passengers. She said she used to be scared for her safety while working outside, but it has happened to her near her home, a place she used to think, was the safest. The victim however said that she was not pained by the beatings but by the attempts of the NSCN (I-M) men to ruin her modesty.
The other victims-- a minor girl, aged around 16; a missionary teacher in Arunachal, Pradesh Bishnu Pradhan; driver of the Sumo, Nitoho (26) and three non-local labourers were among those in the Tata Sumo, stopped by the NSCN (I-M) cadres near Aghuito Town. All were badly beaten and tortured for over an hour.
The minor girl was hit with an iron rod three to four times; Bishnu Pradhan and the driver (Nitoho) were repeatedly hit with rifle butt and kicked a number of times. Nitoho was accused of transporting alcohol. The NSCN (I-M) men also checked the vehicle and luggages. Bishnu Pradhan told this correspondent that he was hit on the nose and bled profusely.
The NSCN (I-M) men involved were identified as-- ‘pvte.’ Niloto, ‘corporal’ Mohore and ‘sgt. maj.’ Apamu; while the identity of the fourth was yet to be ascertained.

Ultimatum on NSCN (I-M)
The rally which was held under the aegis of the Sumi Hoho and other apex frontal organisations of the Sumis adopted a three-point charter of demands after the rally.

  • The public at the rally resolved to urge upon the collective leadership of the NSCN (I-M), to physically hand over the four NSCN (I-M) cadres involved in the incident, to the district administration within three days from the date of publication of the resolution;
  • In the event the NSCN (I-M) failed to comply with the resolution(No.1), the rally resolved that the Sumi community shall withdraw its cooperation and support to the NSCN (I-M);
  • The rally also resolved that no individual or organization should initiate for release or extend support to the four errant cadres, while in custody of the district administration.
The resolution was jointly affirmed by president Sumi Hoho, Hovishe Arkha; president Sumi Totimi Hoho Kitoli Naje; vice president Sumi Kukami Hoho Vikuto Nurumi; president SKK Holuvi Chophy and SBAK women secretary Kuholi.

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