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Tangkhuls begin non-co-operation movement

Public march to the residence of DC, Ukhrul to submit a memorandum.
Published on 15 Aug. 2009 12:49 AM IST
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Deeply concerned over Wednesday’s “unprovoked firing” by the 23 Assam Rifles upon a group of NSCN (I-M) activists between Godah and Shakok villages under Phungyar Police Station in Ukhrul district where one activists was killed, the Tangkhul Naga frontal organizations have started a non-co operation movement against the government of India from 6 pm Friday until their “physical and emotional security” was guaranteed and ensured. A memorandum was also submitted to the prime minister in this regard. The Tangkhul organizations in a joint statement said they were also “deeply aggrieved” by the “cold-blooded murder” of the NSCN (I-M) activist, Salmon Hungyo, aged about 28 years, of Chahong village, by the Assam Rifles after being arrested and tortured near the site of the incident. The Tangkhul frontal organizations included Tangkhul Naga Long (Tangkhul Hoho), Tangkhul Shanao Long (Tangkhul Women’s League), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (Tangkhul Students Union), Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (Tangkhul Youth Council), Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (Tangkhul Village Chiefs Association) besides the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR). Mourning the ‘demise of our peace’ and physical security and to resist the move towards violence, the six organizations said that the Tangkhul people numbering almost 20, 000 marched to the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul and submitted a memorandum to the prime minister of India through the DC on Friday. Among others, the memorandum also demanded from the prime minister to clarify once and for all whether there was cease-fire in Naga areas outside Nagaland. The Tangkhuls demanded for immediate stop to the current operations being carried out in the area and to immediately withdraw Assam Rifles, “Friends of the Hills People” from Ukhrul district. They further demanded the prime minister to ensure and guarantee the safety and well being of the population of the area. The five Tangkhuls organizations in the joint statement signed by their respective presidents and the Coordinator NPMHR said they saw the incident as a disturbing development and as an effort to destabilize and butcher the hard-earned peace and stability in the region. They said such incidents, instead of resolving problems would further exacerbate, promote, and feed violence. The Tangkhuls said they were disappointed by the callous attitude of the Assam Rifles in preventing the civil societies from visiting the villages affected by the incident on Wednesday. They asserted that a team of civil society leaders including representatives of the United Naga Council, Manipur, North East Indigenous Women Forum, Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, etc were stopped from proceeding further at Shakok village by the CO 23 Assam Rifles. It was also mentioned that the Phungyar Block had been declared as a drought hit area by the government. The six organizations, however, alleged that the Assam Rifles in Shangshak village prohibited food supplies from being taken to the villages and said it was a blatant violation of the fundamental right to food, security, and physical wellbeing. They alleged that the Assam Rifles personnel have also cut the Optical Fibre Cables (OFC) at Hundung Cement Factory, the only existing means of communication from Ukhrul to other parts of country. “This is illegal and calls for stringent punishment,” the statement added. They said that the August 12 incident violated the fundamental right to personal and emotional security and had put a huge number of populations in the area at risk. It claimed that a large number of villagers who were in their paddy fields, in hunting grounds, etc were unable to return to their villages as a result of the incident. The Tangkhul organizations also drew attention to the “most uncalled for and unacceptable harassment” of the public in many villages in Phungyar block who have been restricted from moving out of their house. “There are still many individuals, who were carrying out their normal course of daily activities, whose whereabouts are still not known,” they said. It was also alleged that random bombings by Assam Rifles in civilian areas were taking place, particularly in and around Godah, Shakok, Loushing, and Loushing Khunthak villages under Phungyar Police Station in Ukhrul district, Manipur. The Tangkhuls organizations said such bombings went against all the accepted fundamental principles, norms, and foundations upon which the Indian Republic was founded and in international norms and conventions. They appealed the district authorities to immediately ensure and guarantee the personal and physical security of the villagers. It further demanded from the Government of India to properly ensure the compliance and conformation to the ceasefire ground rules in the larger interest of stability and peace in the region. The joint statement was signed by the presidents of TNL, Stephen Angkang; TSL, A. S. Dina; TKS, Wungnaoshang A. Shimray; TMNL, Zanyo Varam; TNWL, Kaphungkan K. Shimray and NPMHR coordinator, Alung Rungsung.

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