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Sumis threaten to evict NSCN-IM

- Outfit fails to hand over errant cadres

Kohima, Dec. 26: The Sumi community has threatened to flush cadres of the NSCN (I-M) out of Zunheboto district after the outfit failed to hand over its four members who were allegedly involved in assaulting two lady missionaries, their driver and six more co-passengers on December 21.

The incident happened near Aghuito, about 12km from Zunheboto town. Four NSCN (I-M) cadres had allegedly waylaid a Zunheboto-bound Sumo in the wee hours of December 21 and attempted to rape and molest two female passengers, both missionaries from Arunachal Pradesh, and also inflicted grievous injuries on two other male passengers.

Citizens of Zunheboto gathered at Centre Point today to express resentment over the failure of the NSCN (I-M) to hand over the cadres involved in the incident where the two women and seven men were allegedly beaten mercilessly and the female passengers stripped and molested.

Youths armed with sticks, spears and daos reiterated their demand to produce the cadres at the rally and warned the leaders of Sumi organisations of serious consequences if concrete action against the outfit was not taken. The deadline for handing over the culprits to the district administration ended today.

Responding to the call for implementation of non co-operation towards the NSCN (I-M), the Sumi community has asked 25 members from each Sumi village throughout the state to reach Zunheboto town on Saturday with available arms to flush out NSCN cadres from the district.

Leaders from the Sumi community, with support from the youths, plan to evacuate the NSCN (I-M) designated camp at Ghathashi under Pughoboto sub-division in Zunheboto district.

Yesterday, the residence of Sumi Hoho president was surrounded by a mob on hearing that a delegation from the outfit’s “fact-finding committee” had come to meet Sumi Hoho leaders for a “compromise”.

The mob, especially the youths armed with sticks and machetes, prevented the NSCN delegation from leaving the place until their three-point charter of demands was fulfilled. It was only after written assurance that the culprits would be handed over to the district administration, they were allowed to leave.

The group has not yet handed over the cadres to the district administration.

The ire of the public also escalated after news filtered in that certain members from the NSCN (I-M) tried to “pay off” the victims to silence them.

Today’s rally was organised in anticipation of the fulfilment of the written assurance. However, till 5pm, the NSCN (I-M) authorities remained silent. The public, therefore, asked the Sumi organisations to prepare for the flush-out.

The December 21 incident triggered a mass resentment among the Sumi community, resulting in a huge rally the following day where it was resolved that the NSCN cadres be handed over to the district administration within the deadline, failing which a call for non-cooperation towards the outfit would be initiated.

Several Sumi organisations had condemned the incident.