Assam Rifles accuses NSCN-IM of violating ceasefire, cautions against escalationtext_fields
New Delhi: The NSCN-IM has committed a serious violation of ceasefire ground rules by setting up an "unauthorised camp" in Ukhrul district of Manipur, Indian Army sources have said.
They said that NSCN-IM had violated ceasefire by setting up camp in the north of Ukhrul district.
Sources said that during the routine aerial recce on April 25, some suspected temporary hutment type structures were observed in the forest in "Sihai Khunou/Khamasom, Ukhrul".
Troops were deployed to verify existence of an unauthorised camp of NSCN-IMA in the area.
The commander, they said, requested the villagers and the pastor to inform NSCN-IM cadres to vacate the camp immediately as it was unauthorised and "in gross violation of existing ceasefire ground rules". The same day, General Secretary of United Naga Council gave a phone call to commander of Assam Rifles Sector and confirmed the presence of NSCN-IM camp.
The sources said that chairman of Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) was briefed about the prevailing situation and existence of unauthorised camp on April 26 by Inspector General of Assam Rifles.
The next day at around 2.15 pm, it was confirmed by the Chairman CFMG that instructions have been issued for immediate vacation of the NSCN-IM camp.
Accordingly, Assam Rifles asked the villagers whether the camp had been vacated or not.
The sources said that area has been reinforced by additional troops and the unauthorised camp is under constant surveillance by air and other means.
They said that aerial reconnaissance on April 27 morning revealed that the camp has not been vacated and the onus for inconvenience to villagers is entirely due to the irresponsible actions by NSCN (Isac-Muivah) cadres.
The sources said that security forces have shown great restraint.
The villagers, who were again sent towards the camp, on Sunday met SS Lt Col David Rambo.
Despite extreme restraint being shown by Assam Rifles troops, no action has been taken by NSCN-IM to vacate the unauthorised camp and this was a serious violation of ceasefire ground rules. The onus for further escalation rests with NSCN-IM hierarchy, if the unauthorised camp is not vacated immediately, the sources said.
The government and NSCN-IM had arrived at a ceasefire agreement in 1997.