Assam Rifles at Sihai

Dimapur, May 2 (EMN): While expressing relief at the amicable resolution to the ‘Sihai camp episode’, the NSCN (IM) has however raised questions over the conduct, and intent, of the eastern command of Indian Army.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the group asserted: “For nearly a week we stood our ground waiting for the matter to be handled at appropriate political level as Indo-Naga issue is a political issue, and not military. But it is unfortunate to observe that eastern command of Indian Army as reflected in its PIB (Defence) press statement is desperately trying to show military colour to the issue. History is the best lesson to learn something.”

During the entire period of “intense heat as seen on the spot of conflict,” the biggest question that came up was ‘why this military built up’ when the issue is already at the highest political level and just touching the threshold of signing up for the final political settlement, the group stated.

“It is however a matter of regret that the press statement of eastern command, Indian Army only reflects heavy grudge against NSCN. The AR authority stationed at Sihai to monitor the situation has all along maintained that they are simply obeying the order from the higher up. As this is the case, the press statement also should have been issued by the higher up who sent them. The correct higher up authority to have issued the press statement is Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“Naga political movement is a people’s movement. In this period passing more than 71 years of struggle, Naga people’s sentiment is deeply involved. There is no question of NSCN inciting the people or anything orchestrated by NSCN as stated by eastern command press release. The Naga people’s reaction, organising mass rally is something that comes spontaneously because of their love for peace and their aspiration for the final political settlement. We believe that the mass rally is not targeted against AR or against NSCN but for cooling down the situation to avoid showdown,” read the statement.

The NSCN (IM) also advised the defence publicity wing to handle press matter with professional craft, “bereft of communal poison and avoid stretching their hands too far not to touch on issues that are not within their parameter.”

~EMN

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