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Insurgency? Fresh cases of 'attack' on Naga villagers: NGO seeks UN intervention

By Our Representative
The Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), a civil rights organization based in Nagaland, has accused security forces based in the state for allegedly waging war on “innocent” Naga civilians under the pretext launching operations against insurgents.
In a statement, NPMHR called upon India’s civil “society organizations, democratic rights institutions, people’s movements, as also international communities and United Nation’s agencies” to take cognisance of the development at a time when the state administration is involved in fighting the coronavirus epidemic.
Made available as a National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) email alert, the NPMHR statement said, the security have been “aggressively” intruding into Naga areas, “ruthlessly” engaging in “kidnapping and torturing Naga civilians.”
Giving specific examples, NPMHR noted, on May 14, 2020, security personnel arrested Nokchai Wangsu from Pumao village and taken to a base camp at Longding, “where he was tortured and interrogated and released after sternly warning him not to disclose the incident to any person.”
On May 15, 2020, the same group “picked up Jimphu Wangnow, also of Pumao Village, and he too was “beaten and tortured for no reason.”
Pointing out that when on May 16, the villagers of Pumao gathered at the house of the Village Chief to clarify the reasons these acts, NPMHR said, the security personnel “started to panic when some of the villagers brought the victims to the meeting hall to have first hand information, and started leaving the meeting hall.”
“Some of the villagers and specially the women folks tried to bring them back. But instead of coming back; they started opening fire, which infuriated some of the young people who also resorted to stone pelting”, the statement said, adding, in retaliation, during the firing on civilians one person, Lamdaan Lukham, was killed and several got injured.
NPMHR said, “This version was fully corroborated by the civil administration, which announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the dead and Rs 25,000 each for all those injured”, adding, “The District Superintendent of Police also informed that an enquiry has been initiated.”
However, it regretted, a Tezpur-based defence PRO tried to justify the firing saying, “Insurgents had open fire on the security forces using civilians as human shields and that the civilian had died in the crossfire”.
Giving reasons for seeking help from international organizations and UN agencies, NPMHR said, interventions by the National Human Rights Commission have not helped as they have behaved in a very pessimistic manner.

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