Guwahati: Separatist outfit National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN)’s pro-talks Isak-Muivah (IM) faction has vacated an ‘unauthorised camp’ in Manipur’s Ukhrul district following an ‘amicable settlement’ of a dispute with the Assam Rifles.
“We have amicably resolved the issue. The camp at Siaha village was vacated on Tuesday night,” said Kraibo Chawang, a member of the NSCN (IM)’s ceasefire monitoring cell.
Chawang said the matter would, however, be raised in the next meeting with the Indian government. The last such meeting was held in New Delhi on April 16.
“The situation was handled in a matured way by both sides,” said Lieutenant General Shokin Chauhan, the chairman of the ceasefire monitoring group, Nagaland. Chauhan would lead the next monitoring group meeting between representatives of the Centre and NSCN.
An official statement by the PRO, Inspector General, Assam Rifles, on Sunday said ‘temporary hutment-type structures’ were observed during a routine aerial recce on April 25 in the Sihai Khunou area under Khamasom village in Ukhrul.
Terming it a gross violation of existing ceasefire ground rules, the ceasefire monitoring group had issued instructions for immediate vacation of the NSCN(IM) camp. The local pastor and other villagers at Siaha were requested to inform cadres of the outfit to vacate the camp that was under ‘constant surveillance’.
Additional troops were deployed in the area, which led to tension among villagers.
The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), the apex body of the Tangkhul community, on Monday led a solidarity rally at Sihai Khunou appealing to both Assam Rifles and NSCN-IM to suspend the stand-off and restore peace in the area. Thousands attended the rally in support of the ongoing Naga peace process.
A report in Sangai Express, Manipur-based news agency, said the TNL also expressed gratitude to the DIG, 10 Sector, Assam Rifles, Mohit Seth, for ‘showing much restraint’ in a bid to avert violence or any armed confrontation.
The NSCN-IM entered into a cease-fire agreement with the Centre in 2007 and signed the historic framework agreement on August 3, 2015. The ceasefire agreement, however, is not recognised by the Manipur government.
The last ceasefire ground rule review committee meeting was held in Dimapur on June 8, 2018 where the Central team was led by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary (internal security) and the NSCN(IM) team was led by VS Atem.