Siroy still tense, fear for the worst haunts Ukhrul
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, January 25 2009: Despite the NSCN (IM) and the Assam Rifles announcing that the Siroy stand off over a camp of the former has been resolved, tension continues to grip Siroy and the adjoining villages as both sides have refused to budge from their position.

With tension escalating each passing hour, many in Ukhrul now fear that things may take a turn for the worse if better sense does not prevail.

To highlight the public sentiments as well as to appeal for a speedy resolution sit-in-protests have been planned at two places in Ukhrul district headquarters tomorrow.

A sit-in will be held near the Viewland Baptist Church while another will be held at Tangkhul Naga Long ground from 7 am tomorrow.

Womenfolk from Ukhrul and other villages have also started congegrating and they will place themselves in between the IM cadres and the Assam Rifles personnel.

The Assam Rifles have set up a bunker just opposite to the camp of the IM group, with only a road dividing the two.

When The Sangai Express contacted the PRO of Assam Rifles today evening, the officer replied that as per the request of the NSCN (IM), the Assam Rifles had agreed to grant the cadres holed up in the camp safe passage as a one time measure.

The cadres can move out from their camp along with their arms as and when they are ready, said the PRO and added that as long as they are there, the troops too will stay put at their position because the IM cadres are not allowed to move around civilian areas with arms.

No deadline has been served for the IM cadres to move out, he said and when queried whether the Assam Rifles will agree if they take six months to move out, the PRO refused to comment, stating that it is a speculative question.

Meanwhile the village authority of Siroy has sent representations to the Prime Minister of India and the Ato Kilonser of the NSCN (IM) and the State Human Rights Commission.

Highlighting the war like situation at the village, the village authority urged the Prime Minister, the Ato Kilonser and the MHRC to intervene and bring about a resolution to the matter.

Giving details, the messages said that on January 19, the Assam Rifles troops surrounded the camp set up by the NSCN (IM) at Siroy.

Though the people of Siroy have been urging both the parties to withdraw, there has been no positive result, it said.

Both sides have taken the no surrender, no retreat stand and in such a situation, a gun fight between the two entities may erupt at any moment, said the representation adding that this would lead to loss of life, properties and casualties of the civil population.

The two parties should be held responsible for any loss of life, properties and casualties and violation of human rights, said the village authority.

The representation also mentioned that thousands of women from Siroy and neighbouring villages have gathered at the village to prevent any bloodshed between the two parties.