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Hoho, Pughoboto tense

- Sumi apex body severs ties with NSCN-IM

Kohima, Jan. 8: Tension prevails between Sumi Hoho, the apex organisation of the Sumis, and the people of Pughoboto subdivision in Nagaland.

Sources said the Hoho, which convened a meeting today, is contemplating action against the people of Pughoboto, which is primarily inhabited by the Sumis. The Hoho’s members could not be contacted.

The sources also said organisations in Pughoboto also convened a meeting today to take stock of the situation and had decided to take a firm stand.

The ties, which have been strained, snapped after the people of Pughoboto did not attend a general meeting convened by Hoho at Zunheboto town hall yesterday for representatives of all Sumi villages in the state and all Sumi frontal organisations, alleging negligence by the Sumi Hoho and other frontal organisations.

The people of Pughoboto said they have not been consulted by in decision-making by the Hoho on several occasions. They said when NSCN cadres allegedly molested two women and assaulted two men travelling to Zunheboto in a taxi at Aghuyito village near Zunheboto on December 21, the Hoho did not take the people of Pughoboto into confidence before taking a decision.

“The people of Pughoboto were not consulted on any decision taken after the December 21 incident,” a source said. He said the people of Pughoboto were hurt when the mob swooped down at Mukalimi on December 28 unannounced and without consulting its organisations.

Trouble began when NSCN (I-M) cadres allegedly molested two women and assaulted two men travelling to Zunheboto at Aghuyito village near Zunheboto on December 21. When the Sumi Hoho asked the outfit to hand over the cadres, it refused.

On December 28, a mob, mostly from Zunheboto, descended at Mukalimi village, 14km from Pughoboto town, and laid siege to an NSCN (I-M) camp there from December 28-30. The mob also ransacked the village, killed domestic animals and allegedly took away valuable property and some lincensed guns. The people of Pughoboto did not join the mob though it supplied rations to it.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Hoho decided to sever all ties with the NSCN (I-M) and cease paying any kind of tax to it. It resolved not to allow the outfit to establish a designated camp within its jurisdiction and added that this would be intimated to the authorities concerned for necessary action. It also resolved that the Sumi public would rise against any faction or group of people that intimidates or commits excesses against a Sumi individual or community.

Pughoboto, which houses Chishilimi, the native village of NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu, has been a stronghold of the outfit.

The NSCN (I-M) has alleged involvement of rival Khaplang faction in the exchange of fire at Mukalimi, during which two civilians were killed and five injured. Swu said his organisation would not tolerate anyone collaborating with adversaries who are trying to create division in society.

He appealed to the Sumis to restrain from collaborating with adversaries, saying that his organisation would be compelled to defend the Naga nation.