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NSCN (I-M) releases AR jawans
Published on 10 Jan. 2009 1:47 AM IST
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NSCN (I-M) has released the five 33 AR jawans including a Captain identified as one S. Momo along with their weapons whom it took into its custody on January 8 for forcibly entering the area of its designated camp at Ihoshe Battalion headquarter, near Pfutsero. An MIP statement said the five personnel were released on January 8 midnight at around 12:30 am with civil societies and district administration as witnesses after the Assam Rifles admitted their mistakes. Six arms including five AKs and a Carbine along with ammunition were also returned. Official source from IGAR (N) also confirmed the release of the AR personnel and also the service weapons following negotiations between Chakesang Public Organization, various other civic bodies, ADC Phutsero and Chairman CFMG. “The five personnel were compelled to undergo serious interrogation at the hands of the Naga Army, and they were not kept in Naga Army’s custody for more than what is required” the statement said. The NSCN (I-M) asserted it was only defending its political right that has been “intruded and suppressed” when the jawans were taken into its custody. Stating that its endurance for more than 11 years after the ceasefire was signed on August 1, 1997 demonstrated its faith on political solution and not military solution, the NSCN (I-M) reminded the Indian armed forces of the obligations that were attached to preserve the sanctity of the ceasefire. It said one such violation by the Indian Armed forces came into “special focus” when a group of AR personnel intruded into the prohibited zone within the range of 1 km of Ihoshe Battalion camp without getting prior approval from the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell. The NSCN (I-M) justified its action saying that the Naga Army was left with no option but to exercise the military command of duty to defend its territorial rights as demarcated by the Indo-Naga ceasefire and “overpowered” the intruding AR jawans. Referring to the AR’s version that they were on patrolling duty, the NSCN (I-M) questioned, “why at the gate of the designated camp?” Stating that an official of the rank of Captain should know the rules that governed the ceasefire for the past 11 years, the NSCN (I-M) said there was “more about Capt. S. Momo than what meet the eyes”. The NSCN (I-M) also alleged that the notorious movement of Capt. S. Momo in Chakhesang area was nothing new but that he had been a source of “social irritants” for quite some time and described his unauthorized intrusion as “just another repetition”. (With inputs from Correspondent)

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