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Naga Hoho appeals HM on Shiroi standoff
Published on 31 Jan. 2009 1:55 AM IST
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Naga Hoho has urged the union home minister, P. Chidambaram to handle the “delicate political situation with utmost care and bring down the volatility to normalcy without further delay” with regard to the ongoing stand-off in Shiroi village between the 17 Assam Rifles and the NSCN (I-M) since January 19. Hoho president, Keviletuo Kiewhuo and general secretary, P. Chuba Ozukum said the members visited Shiroi from January 27 to 28 to take stock of the situation and highlighted the “bone of contention (s)” for the union minister’s immediate and necessary action. The Hoho said the NSCN (I-M) has been camping at Shiroi village in Ukhrul district, Manipur since few years back with “the mutual understanding of the government of India as well as the Indian Armed Forces”. Following the cordoning off by the 17 AR on the NSCN(I-M)camp on January 19 at around 2:30 a.m, water supply and electricity to the camp was completely cut off, they said. The Hoho expressed apprehension that the “starving Naga Army might create havoc out of desperation” and result in derailment of the “Indo-Naga peace process”. The hoho confirmed that the AR has also electrified barbed wire around the NSCN (I-M) camp and described it as “akin to act of barbarism and sheer violation of basic Human Rights”. The apex body of all Naga tribes also pointed out that the innocent villagers were unable to go to field, schools and had even postponed the traditional seed sowing festival supposed to be held on January 27 owing to the fear psychosis that prevailed in their minds over the presence of hundreds of Armed Forces. Besides, children have been shifted to neighbouring villages as precautionary measures, it added. Women folk in Shiroi and Ukhrul continued with their sit-in-protest under cold weather besides praying throughout the day so that any untoward armed conflict between the two contending parties would be averted. The Hoho opined the only passage for the NSCN (I-M) activists in the camp was to move out but this would be possible only if the AR paved way on the principles of the ongoing ceasefire between the two parties. It also registered protest against the stand of the government of India that the ceasefire covered or existed only in Nagaland. “Hereinafter, the ceasefire must cover the entire world in letter and in spirit”, they said . In the light of the events, the Naga Hoho pointed out that the first ceasefire between the government of India and the NNC broke down due to insincerity on the part of the former and that the Naga people were now not keen on losing the current “hard earned peace process” and therefore urged upon the minister for immediate intervention. Meanwhile, the Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) has appealed both the 17 Assam Rifles and the NSCN (I-M) to amicably resolve the standoff at Shirui Village, Ukhrul District of Manipur in the interest of peace, liberty, justice and human rights.

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