Naga CSOs bare fangs at AR, CO

SENAPATI, Jan 10: Naga civil society organisations have accused the Assam Rifles of physically assaulting leaders of the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), who are also volunteers of the UNC, on January 9.
Strongly condemning the incident, the United Naga Council (UNC), the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR-South Sector) and Naga Women Union (NWU)  alleged that the Assam Rifles led by Colonel GK Mahindra, CO of 34 Assam Rifles, Maram, apprehended and physically assaulted UNC volunteers including ANSAM president Seth Shathsang, finance secretary of the association Joseph Adani and the education secretary AC Thotso.
The three Naga organisations stated that military convoys are exempted from the purview of the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council to protest creation of new districts by the Government of Manipur ‘arbitrarily and without consulting the stakeholders’. They also said that the UNC volunteers in the past have also witnessed civil commercial vehicles plying along with the military convoy with “On Army Duty” label pasted on them.
“On January 9, 2017, UNC volunteers on learning about the movement of vehicles which do not belong to the military, checked the authenticity of the vehicles and identified eight vehicles plying without documents issued by the Army authority which was admitted by the convoy commander Major Nishan. However, the mentioned ANSAM officials were physically assaulted by the CO himself with other jawans joining him. They were detained for several hours before being released following protest of the public and leaders of various organisations,” the UNC, NPMHR and NWU alleged in their joint statement.
“It has been established beyond any doubt from the circumstantial evidence about the involvement of the army officer in facilitating the movements of commercial vehicles other than the assigned military vehicles”, the statement added.
“Hence, we demand the authority concerned to take appropriate action against the said army officer for his brutal action of physically assaulting the ANSAM office bearers and his undignified involvement in facilitating movement of other commercial vehicles with the military convoy,” the three Naga organisations demanded.

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