The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi wakes up to truce violation
- Report sought as Rio briefs deputy Prime Minister

Guwahati/Kohima, Aug. 31: Responding to Nagaland’s request to rein in the Isak-Muivah and Khaplang factions of the NSCN, Delhi has sought a detailed report on the alleged truce violations by the two militant groups.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio yesterday briefed deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani about the circumstances leading to the recent mob violence against the NSCN (K) in Mokokchung and its rival group in Tuensang.

He said the situation had been brought under control, but the two outfits needed to be sternly told to adhere to the ground rules of the ceasefire in Nagaland.

Rio told the media after returning to Kohima that Advani was “inquisitive” about the developments in the state. He declined further comment, but an aide said the deputy Prime Minister expressed concern over the possible impact of the recent incidents on the peace process.

Two NSCN (K) members were lynched and houses and vehicles of several top leaders of the outfit were set ablaze during three days of mob violence in Mokokchung. The public uprising followed the death of a student in firing by the militants on August 24.

In a similar manifestation of public anger, an NSCN (I-M) cadre was lynched in Tuensang. Ironically, the incident took place during a meeting convened to end a dispute between the Tuensang-Mon Students’ Federation and the outfit.

On Friday, home minister T.M. Lotha urged Delhi to keep the NSCN factions on a leash. The minister and his colleagues went into a huddle with Rio yesterday evening to review law and order in the state.

The chief minister was in Srinagar during the mob violence in Mokokchung and Tuensang.

Rio admitted during the news conference that armed militants were moving about in certain areas and the situation was tense. He said the chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group and the Ceasefire Supervisory Board, Lt Gen. (retd) R.V. Kulkarni, had asked members of both factions to shift to their designated camps by October 10.

On the mob violence against militants, Rio said it could have been avoided by adhering to the ground rules of the ceasefire. “Armed members of the NSCN should not move about in the civilian areas.”

The chief minister, however, did not condone the public backlash. He said the people should not take the law into their hands. “The people should maintain calm and the media should help in doing so.”

In a statement issued this afternoon, the NSCN (K) expressed regret over the death of the college student in Mokokchung and agreed to confine its members to their designated camps. After the mob fury, a group of militants had reportedly shifted to the Changtongia area, bordering Tuensang district.

The NSCN (I-M) leadership has already asked all members to strictly abide by their code of conduct and not antagonise the public in any way. It has even banned “tax collection” — a euphemism for extortion — by any individual or organisation within “Nagalim”.

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