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Assam Rifles-NSCN (IM) face-off in Sihai over ‘unauthorized camp’


AR asks NSCN to vacate camp; warns of ‘further escalation’

Dimapur, April 29: The Assam Rifles on Monday issued a strong warning against the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) for allegedly setting up “unauthorized camps” at Sihai Khunou/Khamasom under Ukhrul District in Manipur, and warned that if the unauthorized camp is not vacated immediately “the onus for further escalation rests with the NSCN (IM) hierarchy.”
“This is a serious violation of Ceasefire Ground Rule by NSCN (IM). The onus for further escalation rests with NSCN (IM) hierarchy, if the unauthorized camp is not vacated immediately,” said a defense press release.
The NSCN-IM entered into cease-fire agreement with the Government of India in 2007 and later signed ‘Framework Agreement’ in 2015. The cease-fire agreement, however, is not recognized by Manipur Government.
The release issued by PRO (Defence), Col C Konwer said temporary hutment type structures were observed in the forest in general area Sihai Khunou/Khamasom in Ukhrul district during routine aerial reconnaissance on April 25. He said troops deployed to verify the same confirmed the existence of an “unauthorized camp” of NSCN (IM) in that area.
Following this, Col C Konwer said the AR commander requested the villagers & pastor to inform the NSCN (IM) cadres to vacate the camp immediately “as it is an unauthorized camp and is in gross violation of existing ceasefire ground rules.”
It said that the chairman of Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) was briefed about the prevailing situation and existence of unauthorized camp of NSCN (IM) in general area Khamasom on April 26 at around 6 pm by IG Assam Rifles.
Subsequently, on April 27 at around 2:15 pm, it was confirmed by the chairman CFMG that instructions have been issued by the group for the immediate vacation of the NSCN (IM) camp, the PRO said.
“Accordingly, Assam Rifles troops contacted the villagers to confirm the vacation of the camp. In the meanwhile, the area has been reinforced by additional troops & the unauthorized camp is under constant surveillance by air and other means,” he said.
The defense release informed that aerial reconnaissance on April 27 morning revealed that the camp has not been vacated. “The onus for inconvenience to villagers is entirely due to the irresponsible actions by NSCN (IM) cadres; the security forces have shown great restraint. The villagers who were again sent towards the camp today met SS Lt Col David Rambo who is awaiting instructions from Hebron,” it said, adding despite extreme restraint shown by Assam Rifles troops, no action has been taken by NSCN (IM) to vacate the unauthorized camp.
(Page News Service)