Siroy stand off : AR lays onus on IM
Newly formed body to AR : Lay off

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 27 2009: A new body christened the "Co-ordination Committee on Shirui Siege" has been formed with the chief objective of protecting and promoting the rights of the people of Siroy.

Informing this, a statement issued by the media and documentation wing of the Committee said that the new body was formed on January 25 at Ukhrul consisting of several frontal organisations such as Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong, Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long, Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights, Tangkhul Leihsak Long, faith based organisations, NGOs and representatives of Siroy village and social activists.

Gifts change hands on Jan 26 even as Siroy prays for peace

Our Ukhrul correspondent reports that representatives of various civil society organisations including Naga Hoho, Naga Students' Federation, ANSAM etc arrived at Ukhrul today and held a meeting at the office of the TNL president.

The representatives will proceed to Siroy tomorrow.

The Committee has also informed that an "Indefinite Sit-in-Protest Against the Siege of Shirui village by Assam Rifles" has started from Jan 26 at Ukhrul and will continue till the withdrawal of the AR from Siroy.

A sit-in-protest was held today at the Gandhi chowk at Ukhrul district headquarters.

Demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Assam Rifles from the village in the interest of peaceful settlement, the Committee has urged the district administration to immediately look into the situation.

The Tangkhul Union, Kohima has also urged both the parties concerned to withdraw while coming out strongly against the AR.

A reliable source said that the Union Home Ministry is keeping a close tab on the Siroy stand off but has yet so far not got in touch with the State Govt on the matter.

On the other hand, the Assam Rifles in a statement issued by its spokesman today said that a safe passage was granted to the IM cadres to move out with their arms to any of the other designated camps on Jan 23, following a request from the IM group.

However after the request was acceded to, the IM authorities have informed that the holed up cadres will not move to any designated camps but to another village with their arms, claimed the spokesman.

This cannot be accepted as no armed cadres can move around in civilian areas, he maintained.

The cordon will continue till they either surrender their weapons and leave the area or move to any of the designated camps with their arms, asserted Assam Rifles.

Stating that AR has been working for the welfare of the people, the spokesman said that sweets were distributed at Siroy on Republic Day besides Rs 5000/ given to the village community kitchen.

Meanwhile Dr Nelson Vashum, MD has informed that when a team of the Red Cross Society, Ukhrul branch went to Siroy with medical aid they were denied entry into the camp with the Assam Rifles personnel maintaining that they have not received any complaints.

The Assam Rifles personnel maintained that the Union Home Ministry has instructed them such medical aid should not be extended including Red Cross Society unless there are complaints.