Ukhrul villagers decry Assam Rifles’s conduct amid Covid-19 pandemic

"As we all are fighting against Covid-19, there has not been a single case of Covid-19 positive in our villages so far. In case if, after this incident, we find any Covid positive cases here, the Assam Riffles would be held responsible for bringing the deadly disease into the lives of innocent villagers,"

Strongly condemning the high-handed attitude of the 27th Assam Rifles, inhabitants of different villages in Chingai sub division, have said that the same is posing a threat to the ongoing fight against Corona virus pandemic.

According to villagers of Namrei, Razai and Marangphung, all villages across the district have banned entry of outsiders into their territories in view of Corona virus pandemic.

However, in such critical times, the unannounced entry by troops of 17th Assam Rifles allegedly for conducting a pre-dawn military operation at Namrei village on Friday, has sparked fears among the locals over possibility of the virus being transmitted in Chingai sub division. They said that the AR would be solely blamed if any Covid positive cases are detected in region.

“As we all are fighting against Covid-19, there has not been a single case of Covid-19 positive in our villages so far. In case if, after this incident, we find any Covid positive cases here, the Assam Riffles would be held responsible for bringing the deadly disease into the lives of innocent villagers,” villagers said.

During the current pandemic, the villagers are strictly monitoring exit and entry of locals and outsiders were not allowed without permission of the village authorities.
“But the forceful entry of the security forces into Namrei village without informing the local village authority, and disregarding the concerns of the villagers is highly condemnable,” they rued.

It is learnt that at around 3 am on Friday, a team of 27th AR allegedly intruded into Namrei village, located about 64 km from Ukhrul town and carried out a military operation without the knowledge and consent of the village authority in spite of the pandemic situation. 

The troops reportedly tried to whisk off three suspected NSCN-IM cadres (Kindly note the corrected 6 suspected NSCN IM report of September 11, 2020 – 11:15am 27th Assam Rifles apprehends 6 NSCN (IM) released as CSOs intervene at Namrei) from an abandoned house. However, they were rescued from the hands of the security forces following intervention by local women folks, leading to a heated confrontation between the two sides.

In the ensuing scuffle, CO of 27th AR allegedly slapped a leader of Namrei Shanao Long when she tried to take back mobile sets seized by the AR officer. Moments later, she also hit back the AR officer with a slap, and then forced him to wear her own Kashan (a woman’s wrapper).

Namrei Shanao Long then alerted the women folks of the surrounding area about the unwanted situation created by the presence of security forces. Subsequently, Shanao Long from neighbouring villages namely, Razai and Marangphung arrived at the village, where a joint public meeting was held to denounce the high-handedness of the Assam Rifles.

The women’s bodies also sought the attention of the authorities concerned, urging for reining in the unrestrained activities of the AR troops in the midst of Corona virus pandemic.

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