Manipur violence: Don’t harass Naga tribes in any manner, warns insurgent group

Hundreds of residential houses were put on fire in ethnic violence in Manipur.

Guwahati: The largest insurgent group in the northeast, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN-IM, has warned against violating the safety of various tribal groups in the minority in Manipur, amid prevailing tensions in the state wracked by ethnic clashes.

The NSCN-IM termed the recent clashes between the Meiteis and Kukis in Manipur as “inhuman and detestable.

In an official statement on Thursday, the rebel group called for the protection of Naga tribes such as Aimol, Chiru, Chothe, Kharam, Koireng and Kom.

“Our Meitei brothers and Kukis should not take them otherwise and harass them in any manner,” the statement said.

NSCN-IM noted that, “It is a matter of regret that one Kom village Kangathei village has come under attack by the Kuki militants and the villagers forced to vacate their Kangathei village.” Notably, Mary Kom, India’s world champion boxer, also comes from the same tribe in Manipur.

In reference to the incident at a Kom village in Manipur, the insurgent group stated, “Such vicious violence will only aggravate the situation and this must be put to stop forthwith for the sake of humanity and peaceful coexistence.”

The rebel outfit, in its statement, also slammed the burning down of places of worship like churches, calling it a sacrilegious act committed on religious lines.

The group called for the protection of various Naga tribes in the state which it considers part of the greater Naga community and which have been actively involved in the Nagas’ political struggle.

Currently, the NSCN-IM is holding crucial talks with the Centre and signed a “Framework Agreement” in 2015 to take forward the Naga Peace Accord.

Meanwhile, Eastern Army commander Lt Gen R P Kalita undertook a three-day visit to violence- hit Manipur till Wednesday, to assess and review the ground security situation, a defence official said in Kolkata.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Army Command, met with local stakeholders, including members of all communities and several civil society organisations for discussions, the official said.

In his meetings with the stakeholders, the Eastern Army commander urged all sections of society to suspend hostilities and work for restoration of peace in Manipur.

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