Following the tension that arose between NSCN (I-M) and Assam Rifles (AR) over the latter’s breach of cease-fire ground rules (CFGR) Thursday last and with AR setting up check posts around NSCN (I-M) designated camps, there were reports that the monitoring of vehicular passage and frisking by AR have affected the supply of essential items in and around Hebron camp.
According to sources, vehicles carrying commodities were not allowed to go beyond Doyapur and even the vehicles carrying commodities for ration shops in and around Hebron were being detained at Dhansiripar.
It was also reported that on Saturday, a truck carrying commodities meant for Hebron camp was sent back from Hazadisa by AR when the latter came to know that the commodities were meant for NSCN (I-M) cadres stationed at Hebron.
Talking to Nagaland Post, a senior NSCN (I-M) leader said that there were reports from all over NSCN (I-M) camps that AR was not allowing vehicles carrying commodities to pass through its check gates that were set up on roads leading to NSCN (I-M) camps.
While not denying that it was an economic blockade, the NSCN (I-M) leader said that even if AR was frisking and restricting the transportation of commodities the NSCN (I-M) members were not facing any kind of problem.
“AR would not admit that it is an economic blockade but it is the people who will see it… by doing so AR is thinking that the people would pressurize us rather than them”, said the NSCN (I-M) leader.
Pointing out that it was now time for the people to “open their eyes” and see what the armed forces and Government of India was doing, the NSCN (I-M) leader called out civil societies to come out to the streets if they were really concerned.
“When Meiteis could come out to the street… why Nagas are still sleeping, it is time for us to rise”, said the NSCN (I-M) leader.
He also said that AR was “controlled” by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stating that it was now time for Nagas to “understand” in “bigger” and “magnified” area.
“Government of India is using AR against Nagas whenever they find that Nagas are not in their favour… Government of India is creating all this”, said the NSCN (I-M) leader.
Asserting that cease-fire was not “permanent peace” rather it was “fragile”, he reminded the Government of India that peace would never come by “force” adding that NSCN have been in “arm struggle” for long and that they entered cease-fire agreement to negotiate.
The NSCN (I-M) leader then said that during 14 years of the cease-fire and in guise of it, if AR was thinking to enter “state politics” than they were “wrong”.
It may be recalled that on Saturday, Kamdi women society walked for more than five hours from their village till Hazadisa in protest against AR’s rigorous frisking action at Doyapur and Hazadisa roads that led to “fear psychosis” of the public nearby.
The women folks also alleged that AR troops were not allowing the public to carry money (over Rs 5000) and commodities in large quantity.
AR action contrary to GoI commitment: NSCN (I-M)
NSCN (I-M) Sunday stated that adherence to cease-fire ground rules (CFGR) is the mainspring of “cease-fire survival” and alleged that the “haughtiness” of Assam Rifles (AR) stood “contrary to the Government of India’s commitment in solving the Naga political issue with “sincerity and seriousness”.
Given the seriousness of the Nagas in getting the “political problem solved” this time, NSCN (I-M) asserted that the cease-fire should not be converted into “monkey business” and added that the blame would go to AR and not to NSCN if something went wrong.
In a statement, MIP said that when there was “no visible sign” of the Government of India’s political responsibility to rein on AR troops, there was little to be comforted and such “superficial commitment” was dangerous not only for the Nagas but for the entire Northeast region.
MIP also stated that Cease-fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) chairman Maj. Gen (retd) N. George’s assurance on returning the seized weapons of NSCN card holders was “comforting” and NSCN (I-M) called for “action” to speak louder than “words (assurance)”.
While stating that Maj. Gen (retd) N. George was expected to exercise his power with “strict impartiality”, NSCN (I-M) stated that CFMG chairman should also take the stand vis-à-vis the AR that this was the time to “reciprocate” as far as the issue of “returning arms” was concerned.
“Recalcitrant approach” of AR should be discouraged at all cost to preserve the “sanctity of the Indo-Naga cease-fire” that was signed for the purpose of solving the longest insurgency in Southeast Asia, said MIP.
Reminding that the April 19 incident where the 29 AR troops commanded by “one Meitei Maj. Sukanta” came in close to Hebron Camp and subsequent condemnations by civil societies, MIP said that such “overbearing attitude” of AR towards the CFGR was “obnoxious”.