Process of closing offices in Nagaland
‘Taken note of’ camps
‘Taken note of’. Anyone familiar with this term will surely that one here is referring to the term used by the Assam Rifles to refer to the camps opened by the NSCN (IM) on the soil of Manipur and intrinsic here is the point that though there are no official camps of the outfit in the State, there are still camps belonging to the said group. And when one talks about the ‘taken note of’ camps then one surely means the camp opened at Buning in Tamenglong, Oklong in Senapati, Phungcham in Chandel and another at Ukhrul district. Interestingly the ‘taken note of’ camps came to the forefront when Assam Rifles personnel laid siege to an ‘undesignated’ camp of the NSCN (IM) at Shirui village in Ukhrul district in 2009. More recently, that is in May this year, the NSCN (IM) had to vacate a camp at Shihai Khunou in Ukhrul district, following immense pressure from the Assam Rifles. This in brief is the rough sketch of the presence of the NSCN (IM) in Manipur and earlier before this, there were stories of how the said outfit had opened an office at Ukhrul district headquarters which again came to the limelight following the killing of a young man by cadres of the said outfit. These are but some stories which made it to the news and there must be many more which must have gone unreported but which in a way point to the large scale presence of the said outfit in some hill districts of Manipur. The interesting question is, now that the final deal may be struck anytime soon, what happens to the ‘taken note of’ camps ? Given the manner in which these camps have sprung up, it wouldn’t be surprising if no official announcement is made if and when these camps are closed. Or more interestingly will these camps be ever closed, given that there is no official tag on these camps ?
This question is important in the face of the fact that the final deal may be inked any day soon and moreover remember the local authorities concerned have already notified that the camps of the rebel group should be closed. It was along this ‘notification’ that the office and mess of the NSCN (IM) in Asalu region located in Midland Colony of Jalukie town in Peren district in Nagaland were closed down recently. Significant to note that the office and mess were closed in the presence of civil administration officials and Assam Rifles troops and the keys were deposited with the ADC office. Likewise the NSCN (U), which is a unit of the NNPGs closed down its mess at Athibung in Nagaland’s Peren district. All indicating that the process of closing down office and mess, which are part of designated camps, is a step that has to be taken before the final agreement is inked. This is about the designated camps but the relevant question is about the ‘taken note of’ camps. Under what process will these camps be closed or rendered ineffective. This is where Central forces deployed in Manipur and the State Government too should come up with an answer. Or will it be a case of, since the final agreement “will not affect” Manipur, there is no question of doing anything to the ‘taken note of’ camps ?