Assam Rifles jawans hurt in encounter with NSCN (K-YA)
Two Assam Rifles personnel were injured in an encounter with the proscribed NSCN (K-YA), the only Naga insurgent group outside the ongoing peace process, in Nagaland’s Mon district in the wee hours of Monday.
The encounter was the third in less than a week involving the Yung Aung faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in areas bordering Myanmar.
The NSCN (K-YA) along with the Ulfa (Independent) had urged the masses in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya to boycott the 75th Independence Day celebrations. The groups had also called for a bandh from August 14 midnight to 6pm of August 15. Both the banned outfits operate from their hideouts in Myanmar.
According to an army statement, the encounter took place in the Nyasa area of Mon district around 2.30am when Assam Rifles personnel were “proactively dominating” the sensitive areas to “thwart” any attempt by insurgent factions to disrupt peace in the region in the run-up to Independence Day on Monday.
The paramilitary personnel “based on credible intelligence” had laid “multiple ambushes” as part of its area domination plan in the Nyasa area, located along the inter-state boundary between Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
The army statement said the “alert” AR personnel “noticed” suspicious movement of the underground activists on a jungle track from Zankham to Nyasa, around 8km apart. On being challenged, the members of the underground (UG) opened fire which was “appropriately retaliated causing severe casualties to the UG group”.
“Two Assam Rifles’ soldiers also sustained injuries and they have been evacuated to Jorhat Air Force Hospital for further treatment. They were evacuated with the help of local villagers, who have provided all the support to the security forces,” the army statement said.
Last Tuesday, suspected cadres of the proscribed ULFA (Independent) and the NSCN (K-YA) carried out a joint attack on Assam Rifles personnel patrolling in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district, leaving a junior commissioned officer injured.
The attack in Changlang district’s Pangsau Pass came a couple of hours after suspected members of the two outfits fired “from a distance” at an Assam Rifles post near Dan Pangsah in the Noklak district of neighbouring Nagaland. There was no casualty or injury in Noklak, which also shares borders with Myanmar like Changlang and Mon districts.
Monday’s encounter, sources said, is not very far from Oting in Mon district where 14 civilians were killed by Army personnel in a botched-up counter-insurgency operation on December 4. The Nagaland police had in June charge-sheeted 30 Army personnel in the case. They mistook the civilians for militants.
The day otherwise passed off peacefully. Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio tweeted that his state celebrated Independence Day along with the rest of the country while wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day. The state-level function was held at the Nagaland Civil Secretariat Plaza in the capital Kohima.