Close on the heels of the September 4 factional incident, another factional related clash occurred near Naga Hospital Kohima junction Thursday afternoon and two persons apprehended with three weapons.
Police said suspected NSCN (K) and GPRN/NSCN cadres exchanged gun-fire.
As a response, a joint combing operation was carried about Nagaland police and Assam Rifles leading to the arrest of the two persons along with three arms.
Meanwhile, SP Kohima in a press release,said security personnel had to fire several rounds, in order to disperse underground cadres from the locality.
SP regretted the inconveniences caused to the public during the combing operation. He however said, security forces would continue to carry out such operations and appealed the public to extend cooperation.
In another statement, Assam Rifles said one ‘lt.’ S. Kiba was arrested along with two 7.62 pistols and 17 live rounds, involved in the clash near Naga hospital.
NSCN (K) questions GPRN/NSCN
Reacting to the exchange of fire between the two rival factions in Kohima Thursday, NSCN (K) has questioned GPRN/NSCN’s position on the reconciliation process stating that while they publicly expressed commitment to reconcile with other Naga groups, they were also continuously “attacking” NSCN (K) cadres in the heart of Kohima town.
In a statement, NSCN (K) MIP said Thursday’s “attack” was nothing but an act of “sheer cowardice” which endangered civilian lives and asked what kind of “reconciliation” GPRN/NSCN want.
Asking “Khole” whether it was acceptable to let his “boys” attack NSCN (K) cadres while the former sought reconciliation, NSCN (K) also questioned the role law enforcing agencies for allowing “Khole boys” to carry “arms and freely attack” NSCN (K) cadres with AKs in the broad daylight witnessed by some few hundred people in the heart of state capital city.
MIP said Thursday’s attack on NSCN (K) functionary near Naga Hospital junction was nothing but a desperate move to disturb and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere which the people did not want at this juncture.
MIP informed that “Khole boys” led by ‘lt.’ Atoka who recently defected to GPRN/NSCN fired with automatic weapons (AKs) without considering the presence of civilian lives.
Terming the attack as highly questionable, NSCN (K) sought to know from NGOs and civil societies what action were they going to take as the NSCN cadres were restrained to retaliate so as to avoid civilian casualties.
NSCN (K) has once again reiterated that its cadres were capable of facing any eventuality, any given time but being a “peoples’ government”, the group was restrained respecting the appeals of the people for maintaining peace and tranquility.
NSCN (K) however warned that it would give a befitting response to the “unprovoked attempts and firings” at its cadres and officials. The group has requested the public to bear with NSCN (K) till these “criminals” were chased out from Kohima town.
Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has condemned the factional clash near Naga Hospital Kohima and Wednesday’s incident where one GPRN/NSCN cadre– James Mao was killed.
In a statement, NSF president T. Ozukum and general secretary Esther Rhakho expressed dismay with NSCN (K) Kohima urban command for “trying to infuse hatred and misunderstanding” between NSF and GPRN/NSCN by citing the reason for killing James Mao as related to assassination attempt on NSF assistant general secretary.
NSF said one reason for the failure of Nagas to come together as one has been the way in which people try to justify a crime “with all the concocted reasons” or shift the blame to others.
Stating that it had always been on the forefront to bring Naga political groups under one roof, NSF said dragging them into the recent factional killing incident was unacceptable.
NSF urged underground groups to desist from targeting each other, adding killings would “not contribute anything to the vexed Naga political cause”.