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NSCN-IM vacates camp

People participate in a protest rally against the NSCN at Zunheboto. File picture

Kohima, Dec. 30: Cadres of NSCN (I-M) have finally vacated the camp at Mukalimi village in Zunheboto district after a three-day standoff.

After much persuasion by the Centre and the state government, the cadres moved out of their camp around 10am today.

However, before their exit there was an exchange of fire with the mob, in which one person was wounded. The total number of injured since last Saturday has risen to six.

People later torched the camp, leaving the church and the residence of the pastor of the group untouched.

An NSCN source said the cadres vacated the camp on their own but sources said they did so only after much discussion with the Centre and the state government.

The state government had said the only way to resolve the problem was to vacate the camp and added that discussions were on with the appropriate authorities in New Delhi. The outfit has blamed the NSCN (Khaplang) and Assam Rifles for instigating a section of people to attack the camp. “It has served the very purpose of Assam Rifles and the Khaplang group,” an NSCN (I-M) insider said.

Sources among the attackers said the Assam Rifles had provided security to the people who attacked the camp. It was alleged that the Assam Rifles had even fired at the camp from among the people.

The NSCN (I-M) said the attackers have used sophisticated weapons like rocket launchers, LMG, SLR and AK rifles, which were provided by rival factions.

Confrontation between a section of people and the militants had cropped up after the latter had refused to hand over the cadres involved in December 21 incident of assaulting two female missionaries from Arunachal Pradesh and seven others who were travelling in a Sumo at Aguito village near Zunheboto.

The outfit said there was no question of handing over the cadres to the authorities as NSCN (I-M) is competent enough to deal with the issue.

Led by the Naga Hoho, representatives from Naga Mothers’ Association and Naga Students’ Federation have left for Zunheboto today to meet the leaders of Sumi organisations to defuse the volatile situation in the district. Church leaders, led by Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), have also requested the rebels and the people to restrain from indulging in violence.

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