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    NSCN-IM vacates unauthorised camps in Manipur

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    New Delhi: The NSCN-IM has vacated an "unauthorised camp" which it had set up in Ukhrul district of Manipur by committing a serious violation of ceasefire ground rules, Indian Army sources have said.

    The setting of an unauthorised camp in violation of ground rules agreed upon is most unfortunate and almost betrays the hopes of Naga people for the final accord anytime soon, a source said on Wednesday. 

    In fact, the source said, in the spirit of maintaining the momentum in negotiations achieved after signing of the framework agreement, the security forces have been extremely careful not to escalate in spite of provocation from NSCN-IM and approached the chairman Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) though he has no mandate beyond Nagaland. 

    "Using the good offices of chairman CFMG and civil society organisations, it was ensured that the camp is vacated by NSCN-IM in conformity with the ceasefire ground rules." 

    NSCN-IM had occupied a temporary camp in Sihai Village about 5 km from Khamasom near the India-Myanmar border in Ukhrul district of Manipur. 

    Setting up an unauthorised camp in gross violation of ceasefire ground rules and against the spirit of ongoing ceasefire agreement resulted in great inconvenience to the local residents residing in the adjacent areas, the official said. 

    The matter was addressed by the security forces at the appropriate level to ensure no further inconvenience is caused to the people. 

    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 the existence of an unauthorised camp of NSCN-IM 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 the chairman of 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 p.m., 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 the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) cadres.

    Despite extreme restraint being shown by Assam Rifles troops, no action was taken by the NSCN-IM to vacate the unauthorised camp. 

    The government and NSCN-IM had arrived at a ceasefire agreement in 1997.

     

     

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