Naga tribes, government criticize NSCN-Khaplang for Mon attack

GUWAHATI: The Myanmar-based NSCN (Khaplang), which along with Ulfa (Independent) had ambushed a team of the Assam Rifles and the Territorial Army at Aboi in Mon district of Nagaland on Sunday, has come under sharp criticism from Naga tribes and the state government.

People of the state and the government have appealed to NSCN(K) to shun violence and join the ongoing peace process with the Centre. The NSCN(K) wants a free state for Nagas by carving out Naga-inhabited areas in both India and Myanmar.

On Monday, people of Aboi town had taken out a peace rally in protest against the ambush in which four security personnel were reportedly killed. The rallyists held placards which read, ‘We Want Peace‘ and ‘Father‘s Day with Tears in Aboi‘. Authorities in Mon have clamped night curfew on the three-km stretch along the India-Myanmar border in the district from 10 pm to 3am for three months till August 21.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio, in a statement, said the government of Nagaland strongly condemns such acts of violence in the state, particularly when the Nagas are yearning for lasting peace after decades of strife and bloodshed. “The PDA government is committed towards an early and inclusive resolution to the long-standing Indo-Naga conflict and has repeatedly declared that it will be an active facilitator in the peace process so that the Nagas can live in peace without compromising our unique culture, identity and tradition which has been recognized by the Government of India,” added Rio.

He said a consultative meeting between the government, the political affairs committee, ruling legislators and the 14 Naga Tribal Hohos on May 11 had appealed to NSCN (K) to return to the negotiating table and restore its ceasefire with the Centre to enable an all-inclusive peace process and work towards an early solution in the interest of the Nagas.

The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC), in a statement on Tuesday, said ‘the ongoing negotiation for political solution is imperative for the Nagas at this juncture and the NSCN(K) is expected to be humane and have a sense of respect for the efforts of fellow negotiators whose sole aim is to bring about sustainable peace to our land.‘ Urhing both the security forces and Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), the six Naga groups in ceasefire and the peace process to maintain maximum restraint, it apealed to NSCN(K) to shun violence for the sake of peaceful co-existence.

The Eastern Nagaland People‘s Organization (ENPO) and six federating tribal bodies have also condemned the attack and said the people of ENPO continue to oppose any form of violence within Eastern Nagaland jurisdiction covering the four districts of Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng.

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