Dimapur, August 21: Close on the heels of the killing of a ‘Maj’ of NSCN (IM) four days back (Aug 16), a gunfight between two factions of NSCN erupted today at Chekiye village at around 5:45 pm putting at risk the fragile ‘ceasefire’ that has been in place among the Naga national groups for some years now.
Initial reports stated that some unidentified armed men entered the residence of NSCN (R) UT-1 Supervisor, Khekato Kinny at Chekiye village, near Hornbill School, 3rd Mile and fired indiscriminately. In the shootout, Khekato sustained bullet injury on his leg and was rushed to a nearby hospital for first aid.
While the NSCN (R) blamed the NSCN (IM) for firing at Khekato and injuring him, the NSCN (IM) claimed that it was not done deliberately.
A top NSCN (IM) official speaking on the conditions of anonymity stated that the shootout at the residence of NSCN (R) UT-1 CAO was not intentional at all.
He said the NSCN (IM) command units had gone to his residence to enquire about some security related issues, but before entering the gate, the arrival of the team was visibly detected from inside the house through CCTV cameras. “On sensing trouble, the guards of the CAO started firing at us from inside the large compound,” he said adding, “Our boys also retaliated.”
The firing lasted for a minute or two and our units returned back, he added.
The NSCN (IM) official made it clear that the NSCN-IM team didn’t go to his (Khekato) residence to shoot him. The team was assigned to ascertain some security related questions with Khekato Kinny and so they needed to visit him, he said.
Meanwhile, the NSCN/GPRN (Reformation) has condemned the “assassination attempt” without any provocations on UT1 Supervisor and Defence Kilonser, Khekato Kinny who sustained injuries “perpetrated by the NSCN(IM) led by one Col. Khehoto of Kichilimi village who came with his boys at around 5 p.m. and blindly fired without taking any regards and exception that Khekato was with his family and children.”
The NSCN questioned the reason behind the offensive action, especially at a time when Nagas are yearning for peace and trying to hammer out political solution with the Government of India, a press release issued by the MIP stated.
It said the NSCN is also well equipped to be defensive and would go to any extent to thwart any threat directed towards them but is restraining to the most possible extent due to Naga people’s call for peace. (Page News Service)