Tension at Siroy persists
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, January 21 2009: TENSION IS still running high at Siroy village, 20 km north of Ukhrul town in Manipur's Ukhrul district following a stand off between personnel of Assam Rifles and NSCN -IM cadres, who are holed up in a camp there.

Local sources said the situation may ignite at any point of time as personnel of 17 Assam Rifles troops are still surrounding the camps of NSCN-IM cadres since Sunday night.A Commanding Officer led troops of the Assam Rifles who have been surrounding the camps NSCN-IM or the Khusumung Battalion asked them to surrender their weapons.

Major Samsher PRO,Assam Rifles when contacted, said on January 18, a patrol party of Assam Rifles detected "few temporary structures" at Siroy area with armed men around it.

When they enquired they came to know that they are NSCN-IM militants .

Since then the Assam Rifles troops have been "surrounded and sealed" the area prohibiting their movement from the area,the PRO said.

"We are asking them to surrender their weapons as there's no designated camps in Manipur" PRO said adding as per the ceasefire agreement between government of India and Naga rebel group,there are only three camps-one each in Tamenglong,Senapati and Chandel district in Manipur.

Thus staying in such temporary camps is "gross violation" of the ceasefire agreement,he said.

But the NSCN-IM cadres holed up in the camp are not surrendering their weapons.Instead rebel group which had been engaging a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India since August 1997 have reportedly sent out the clear message that they would retaliate if the Assam Rifles crosses a certain point.

They also reportedly refused to budge contending that the camp at Siroy is a designated camp.

Even the outfit's Chief Administrative Officer, Wung Tangkhul region V Horam, contradicting the stand of Assam Rifles told a Dimapur based news paper that the camp was opened at the area 2-3 years ago following a meeting with Brigadier Manter, DIG 10 Sector Assam Rifles and Colonel Dharmesh, the commandent.

Despite the high tension, there is no report of any of the villagers fleeing their homesteads.

Instead they have been requesting both Assam Rifles and NSCN-IM not to indulge any clash in the area.