Apropos NSCN(IM)’s article titled ‘The unregulated Corona-19 virus carrier Assam Rifles on the prowl’ in Nagaland Page dt 22 August 2020. Security Forces strongly condemn the deliberate attempt of NSCN (IM) at maligning its image of as ‘Friends of the North East’ and rejects the baseless and malicious allegations leveled to tarnish its reputation for ethical and people friendly operations.
It is clarified that based on specific information regarding presence of an armed cadre in Diphupar area, Security Forces and Police launched a joint operation on the night of 21 August 2020. Search of the suspected house was carried out with thorough professionalism with due regard to the dignity of the inhabitants in the house. When during the search, a set of Army pattern uniform was recovered, Mr Joshua Kaping revealed to the search column regarding his identity as belonging to NSCN (IM). On verification of Mr Kaping through his identity card, the Security Forces disengaged from the premises after due process of obtaining a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the individual, which was rendered willingly.
It is reiterated that the Security Forces are obligated to carry out operations against any violation as part of their mandated task to ensure peace and order and to prevent any violation of ceasefire ground rules by any faction. Such operations are always conducted with all COVID protocols in place. All individuals participating in any such operation are as a matter of procedure screened for Influenza Like Symptoms prior to move to civil areas and are adequately kitted with masks and other required gear. In addition Security Force have been carrying out numerous programmes towards helping the populace in combating the pandemic in terms of sanitizing Public Health Centres or COVID Facilities, providing medicines, water, surgical masks and spreading awareness, therefore to allege that they are willfully jeopardizing the people is preposterous and misleading.
The allegations are clearly an afterthought aimed at discrediting and discouraging the Security Forces from doing their bona fide duties. Security Forces are committed to being the guardians of peace and tranquility in the region and will continue to operate against anyone who vitiates the environment. Cooperation of Civil Society Organizations and citizens is solicited for performing the bonafide duties and are requested not to fall prey to uncorroborated, unverified and baseless propaganda that aims at tarnishing the image of Security Forces.
Lt Col Sumit Kumar Sharma
PRO (Def) Kohima
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