The Assam Rifles (AR) on Tuesday, refuted allegations of “brutality and high handedness” towards the Naga people, as levelled by the NSCN-IM on October 16.
According to a press communique issued by the AR on Tuesday, the statement that action against NSCN (IM) is towards Naga people “cannot be farther from the truth.”
On October 16, the NSCN-IM had issued a statement wherein it stated that “Cease-Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) should look into the matter (brutality by AR) with all seriousness to halt the arrest and raiding spree of the AR”.
“Security forces have never apprehended innocent civilians and have only acted against cadres of insurgent groups, indulging in activities in contravention of Ceasefire ground rules,” the release read.
Referring to the October 9 operation, the AR clarified that a joint operation was carried out with the police, based on complaints regarding armed military wing cadres of NSCN (IM) in Signal Angami Area of Dimapur, Nagaland, in violation of the Ceasefire ground rules.
“It was in the interest of public safety to verify the inputs and the Security Forces completed the operation and obtained a No-Objection-Certificate,” it clarified.
In the October 12 incident at Maram in Senapati district of Manipur, the AR stated that the local battalion prevented a group of nine NSCN (IM) cadres who were carrying “forceful illegal taxation” from the transporters near Don Bosco School.
“However, SS 2nd Lt Kennedy attempted to hit one of the AR soldiers who was performing his duties under sovereign protection of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act) 1958 and jumped into the bushes, preventing security forces from carrying out their bonafide military duties within statutory powers,” it added.
The troops exercised maximum restraint and prevented the situation from escalating by apprehending the individual and handing him over to Senapati Police Station, stated the release.
The AR claimed that the local civil society organisations (CSOs) gave an undertaking that the NSCN (IM) cadre was in a medically fit state and had promised that he would not carry the illegal taxations out.
Regarding the October 14 incident at 17th Mile, Jairampur in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh, AR said that the military wing cadres of the NSCN (IM) were stopped from carrying out forceful illegal taxation by the Security Forces.
“Operations were carried out by Security Forces under statutory obligation to prevent any such violation and maintain peace in the area,” the release added.
Chongthu News Service