Dimapur, May 16: In continued factional violence, 16 people including 14 from the NSCN-Unification and two civilians were killed while three others, all civilians, were injured in three separate factional incidents in Dimapur on Friday.
In the first incident, 14 NSCN-Unification cadres were killed after being ambushed by rival NSCN(IM) cadres at Seithekima-C village near Patkai College at around 6 am on Friday. The incident occurred when the NSCN-Unification cadres were returning after executing an attack on the rival cadres. Thirteen cadres died on the spot while another, who was seriously injured in the clash, succumbed to injuries later.
In the second incident, two civilians died while two others, also civilians, were injured in a firing incident in front of the NSCN(IM)’s Ceasefire Monitoring Cell at 4th Mile area in Dimapur.
Earlier in the day, at around 12.30 pm, a large number of people congregated at Dimapur’s Diphupar police station when the bodies of the 12 NSCN-Unification cadres were brought there. The people shouted slogans in protest against the killings while another group of people gheraoed the NSCN(IM)’s Ceasefire Monitoring Cell. The crowd soon became agitated and started pelting stones at the cell, followed by setting fire to it.
Some petrol bombs were also lobbed at the NSCN(IM)’s cell as a result of which a thatched structure on the rooftop of the two-storey cell caught fire. A youth was also seen climbing up the cell along with a pistol and firing shots at those holed up inside. However, it could not be ascertained whether he was from any faction or a civilian.
Around 20 IRB personnel, who reached the spot, were intercepted by the public, mostly women.
While all this was going on, shots were fired intermittently by NSCN(IM) cadres who were holed up inside the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell. The violence continued for nearly two hours. At around 2.45 pm, some armed NSCN (IM) cadres arrived at the scene and fired indiscriminately in which the two civilians were killed and two others, both civilians, injured. Later, some from the NSCN-Unification cadres also arrived at the scene that led to a gun battle which continued till 5 pm.
Meanwhile, the irate mob burnt down three houses in the vicinity. The houses were that of two NSCN(IM) functionaries and a civilian, all from the Tangkhul tribe.
In the evening, another group of people set fire to two houses at Wungram Colony, followed by an exchange of fire between the two factions in the area. A civilian was injured in the crossfire here.
The district administration has clamped Section 144 Cr.PC in and around Dimapur till Chumukedia area until further orders. The siruation is extremely volatile in the town.
Meanwhile, peeved over the rising violent cases in Nagaland and the unusual inflation of essential commodities, the Nagaland Congress has called for a 12-hour dawn to dusk Dimapur bandh on May 19.
Addressing a press conference, Congress Legislature Party (CLP), Leader, I. Imkong revealed that the decision was taken in today’s CLP meeting held at his official residence at Kohima to discuss on the reports submitted by the Committees on price rise and law & order problem.
Expressing grief over the killing of more than 14 persons, including a civilian woman in today’s factional at Dimapur, Imkong viewed the situation as nothing short of anarchy as the administration has totally failed to defuse the situation.
He also expressed surprise at the State Government’s inability to control the deteriorating law and order situation inspire of appeals from the Congress Party to wake and take actions as per the directions of the Central Government. He also revealed that the Centre has already give Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) to the Government to act to control such situation.
On State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s statement that factional clashes are political in nature, the Congress Leader questioned how could clashes be termed a political issue when the civilians are involved and their lives and properties in danger.
The Congress was apprehensive of a civil war in the State unless the prevailing situation is arrested immediately.
Dwelling on the inflation of essential commodities, Imkong expressed surprise over the difference of prices in neighbouring State of Assam and Nagaland. He pointed that prices in Nagaland is almost 90% higher than that in Assam.
He also revealed that the CLP had called on the State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and also submitted a memorandum to the Governor, K. Sankaranarayanan this evening on the two issues.
MLA Deo Nukhu expressed surprise that Rio Government even after saying that peace talks are moving in the right direction has started blaming the Centre for the law and order situation in the State. “We are for unity and peace of Nagas and don’t want any killing among the Nagas,” he added.
Veteran Congress leader, H. Chuba Chang stated that the Government was not sincere to help the public by taking stock of the situation because of which the public are coming out to defend themselves.
Meanwhile, the CLP through the memorandum submitted to the Governor expressed that the State Government is neglecting and ignoring the duties and obligations to be undertaken in the areas of inflation and law and order problem.
The CLP was skeptical about the luke warm attitude of the Government headed by Neiphiu Rio and blamed him for the deteriorating law and order situation and exorbitant price rise.
“We are inclined to believe that Rio’s Government is directly or indirectly patronizing some factions of Underground to escalate the situation which is endangering and jeopardizing the innocent lives of the public,” the memo said, adding that with so many forces under his (Rio’s) command it is his bounden responsibility to protect the lives of the innocent.
The memo of remarked that under the situation in turmoil, people of Nagaland have lost the confidence in the administration of Rio’s Government while also expressing strong conviction that if this (DAN) Government is allowed to continue further there will be further deterioration of the entire situation which will turn into a state of anarchy.
Therefore, the Congress appealed that the Governor should ask Government of India to step in to save the State and its people. “The total constitution break down must be controlled and saved at all cost,” the CLP memorandum added.
Source: The Imphal Free Press