Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, April 30: At the intervention of Tangkhul civil organisations, the warring Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) cadres on Tuesday agreed to vacate Sihai Khanuo village in Ukhrul district—thus dousing water over what was threatening to morph into yet another ugly episode of violent confrontation.
The president of the Tangkhul Naga Long—the community’s apex civil organisation—Hopingson A Shimray told Eastern Mirror “a good number of people from the Tangkhul community marched to Sihai around 9 am on Tuesday; and negotiation took place” with both the warring parties.
Hours of negotiation, finally, led to both the armed parties agreeing to vacate the village. “We have suffered enough horror prior to the signing of the ceasefire in 1997; and now, we cannot allow the breakdown of ceasefire agreement at any cost,” asserted Shimray.
On Tuesday, more than 2500 members of the Tangkhul community marched towards Sihai.
“Out of the 2500 plus Tangkhuls, 280 were women and rest were from the neighbouring villages and social organisations in Ukhrul,” said Tuisem Nungbi, the vice president of TNL, who was at the site while speaking to Eastern Mirror.
He informed that evacuation was still going on and would possibly take till Wednesday morning.
“The jawans from the AR have withdrawn from the camp and are staying in the village; and it is not certain when they will leave the village,” said Nungbi, reaffirming that the civil society leaders were present to make sure that both the groups leave the village.
According to a reliable source, a meeting was also held among the chairman of the ceasefire monitoring group, the convenor of NSCN (IM)’s ceasefire monitoring cell, and the team leader of the ceasefire review committee.
The convenor of NSCN (IM) ceasefire monitoring cell, Kraibo Chawang confirmed to Eastern Mirror that both groups have come to a “mutual understanding” to vacate the village “even though the security forces had come with aggression.”
He said that the NSCN (IM) cadres have been moved to an alternative location provided by Indian government.