AR fences IM camp, Siroy still tense
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul/Imphal, January 20 2009: Tension continues to reign at Siroy village in Ukhrul district as there is no end to the stand off between troops of Assam Rifles and NSCN (IM) cadres holed up in a camp there.

Our Ukhrul correspondent reports that the Assam Rifles has put up a fence of about 30/40 metres in length around the IM cap and cut off all supply routes.

No one is allowed to come out from the camp and no is allowed to go inside the camp, said local contacts.

The Assam Rifles have reportedly captured two bunkers of the IM camp.

Striking a tough pose, NSCN (IM) sources said that if the siege continues cutting off their supply route and if any attempt is made to raid the third bunker, they will not hesitate to open fire, notwithstanding the ceasefire pact.

NSCN (IM) sources said that the matter has already been highlighted to the Ceasfire Monitoring Cell and hence there is no need to talk with the Assam Rifles.

They should leave, asserted IM.

When contacted, the PRO of Assam Rifles still maintained that they have not received any official intimation on the matter.

Local sources informed The Sangai Express that following the stand off between the two heavily armed groups, womenfolk of Siroy have been keeping a sharp vigil in batches even during the night to prevent any open confrontation.

The Assam Rifles have also deployed around 500 personnel at the village and apart from surrounding the camp, they have fanned out to the nearby jungles.

The villagers have also been advised not to venture out and tend to their fields in case anything happens, said local sources.

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

The villagers of Siroy had also decided to approach the district administration and urge it to intervene and resolve the matter before it gets out of hand, said local people.

A meeting was scheduled with the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul today at 3 pm.

However the meeting had to be cancelled as the DC is reportedly out of station.

The people of Siroy have also appealed to both the Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) to resolve the matter at the earliest and avoid any clash.

On the other a reliable source said that the Assam Rifles decided to crack the whip as they came across a number of structures, housing heavily armed NSCN (IM) cadres at Siroy, during a regular patrol beat.

The Assam Rifles personnel have surrounded the camp and urged the IM cadres to surrender the arms as it was against the ceasefire norms, said the source further.

Another reliable source said that the matter has reached the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell and added that this must have also been highlighted to the Union Home Ministry.

As of now there is no sign of any let up, as the Assam Rifles personnel are still at Siroy, said sources.

The NSCN (IM) has been maintaining that the camp at Siroy is a designated camp and it was shifted there from Phungyar two years back and the Assam Rifles authority had full knowledge about it.