NSCN-IM, Assam Rifles personnel clash in Manipur; no one hurt

The shootout reportedly broke out when the Assam Rifle personnel was conducting an operation in the area. However, there was no report of any casualty on both sides.

Troops of 29 Assam Rifles and suspected cadres of NSCN (I-M) reportedly engaged in a brief shootout early Wednesday morning in Khoupum area, Tamenglong district.

Official sources said the shootout occurred around 5:30 am in a dense forest area near Chingmei Kabui (Pungsanmei village), about 12 km north of Khoupum police station. The shootout reportedly broke out when the Assam Rifle personnel was conducting an operation in the area. However, there was no report of any casualty on both sides.

Concerned about the incident, the villagers residing in the surrounding area took out a peace rally chanting slogans such as ‘we want peace’, ‘stop gunfire’ among others.

The incident comes in the wake of preparation for fresh rounds of talks between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India. The outfit, in a statement, said the Government of India (GoI) has given Z Plus category of security to the collective leadership of NSCN who is camping in New Delhi.

“It is a matter of GoI showing seriousness in dealing with NSCN leaders who carry the Naga political issue as they have come to New Delhi on GoI invitation to carry forward the Naga political talk”, stated the outfit.

The NSCN-IM asserted that the Government of India knows too well who carried the Naga political issue and which group necessitated giving high profile security cover.

“No group can mislead the Naga people on Naga issue. Who is doing what to defend the political identity of the Naga struggle is already laid bare before the people. What is delaying the peace process need no further elaboration”, it said.

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