The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 21 , 2014
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Rift over Mukalimi clash widens

Kohima, Jan. 20: The rift between the Sumi Hoho and the people of Pughoboto subdivision is likely to widen as a fallout of the Mukalimi village confrontation between a group of people and cadres of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) last December.

While the apex Sumi Hoho has convened a meeting on January 31 at Zunheboto, the Sumi Aphuyemi Kukami Kuqhakulu (village chief’s union) has convened a public meeting on January 29 at Pughoboto town to take stock of the Mukalimi fallout.

The three-day confrontation from December 28 to 30 at Mukalimi had claimed two innocent civilians and injured at least five persons.

The incident was sparked by the December 21 incident at Aghuyito village near Zunheboto when cadres of the NSCN (I-M) had allegedly molested two females and assaulted three men when they were travelling towards Zunheboto by a Tata Sumo.

After the NSCN (I-M) had refused to hand over the accused cadres to the authorities, people confronted the rebels at ZB Battalion of the outfit at Mukalimi village forcing the cadres to vacate their camp.

The village chief’s union said it would work for the interest of Naga people and would support the “Naga issue”, but the Sumi Hoho said the former has strayed from the stand of the Sumi community. The Sumi Hoho has resolved to sever ties with the NSCN (I-M), too.

The chief’s union said a group of people had swooped down on Mukalimi village without informing the people of Pughoboto subdivision.

The people of Pughoboto sub-division said they did not participate in the Mukalimi confrontation.

The mob allegedly ransacked Mukalimi and took away property worth several lakhs of rupees.

While expressing regret for the Mukalimi episode, the president of the union, Sahoje Sumi, did not blame the leaders of Sumi Hoho and other frontal organisations but said the leaders had to often succumb to the fury of the mob. “We can’t blame the leaders,” he added.

He said sometimes the decisions of the leaders were overruled by the mob.

However, the Sumi Hoho has taken a strong exception to the stand of the union on the Mukalimi incident.

On reports of a campaign to oust the president of the union, Sahoje said he is ready to step down if the people do not want his leadership.

“I will continue to work for the unity of our people and will remain a Sumi,” he said.

The president of the union said he is neither working against the wishes of Sumi community nor that of Sumi Hoho but underscored the need to work collectively in the interest of the Naga people and the Sumi community.

He said the proposed meeting on January 29 would discuss the welfare of Sumi community and how to remain united and collectively work in the interest of the Naga people.

“We are not against anybody but the meeting has been convened to deliberate on issues confronting the people,” Sahoje said.