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AR-NSCN (IM) stand off in Ukhrul

Women keeping vigil to prevent flare up between Assam Rifle and NSCN (IM) at Siraoy village in Ukhrul district of Manipur on Thursday. (EP)
Dimapur, Jan 22(NPN):
Published on 23 Jan. 2009 1:28 AM IST
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Tension continues to remain high in Shiroi, 15 kilometers east of Manipur’s Ukhrul district headquarters, as the standoff between the 17 Assam Rifles and the armed cadre of the NSCN(I-M) continued for the third day. The incident began on January 18 when the 17 Assam Rifles discovered the camp of the NSCN(I-M), occupied by several armed cadres, that is located within the residential area of the village. The Assam Rifles reportedly told the NSCN (I-M) that the cease fire agreement was not in force outside Nagaland state. According to reports, the Assam Rifles reportedly ordered the armed occupants to vacate and surrender their weapons, since it was not a designated camp covered under the cease fire agreement. When the armed cadres refused, the Assam Rifles called in reinforcement and surrounded the camp since January 19 and not allowing any to leave or enter it. Meanwhile, the Shiroi village, in separate appeals to the Prime Minister of India and the Ato Kilonser of the NSCN (I-M), said both sides were unwilling to give in and as a result of which a showdown seemed imminent “at any moment”. Shiroi (C/T) headman Wungchangam, headman Shiroi (C/K) A.W. Nganthingkhui and secretary H. Ngachonmi said “thousands of women” from Shiroi including nearby villages have been gathering in the “war zone” to prevent any bloodshed and causing loss of lives of innocent civilians. The signatories urged upon the leaders to intervene and have both the Assam Rifles and NSCN(I-M) vacate Shiroi village within 24 hours w.e.f.12 noon of January 20 or if not, provide sufficient time for the villagers to vacate Shiroi village in the greater interest of the innocent villagers. Further they cautioned that any loss of life, damage to properties or violation of human rights would rest solely with both parties who would also be liable for any consequences. As tension in the village mounted, social organisations of Ukhrul today reviewed the situation at a meeting, convened by the Tangkhul Naga Long, the apex body of the Tangkhul community, at the district headquarters.

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