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Burning of Naga house direct challenge to Nagas: Organisations

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SENAPATI, June 22 (NNN): Regarding the burning of one Naga house at Leimakhong Chingmang by “armed Kukis” on June 18, the United Naga Council (UNC), the Naga Women Union (NWU) and the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) said such a “heinous crime is tantamount to a direct challenge to the Nagas at large”.


The Working Committee of UNC, the Naga Women Union (NWU) and the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) on their visit to the site have assessed the situation prevailing around the “Khonsaram (Leimakhong) Naga areas”, Naga leaders informed this to Newmai News Network recently.


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While strongly condemning the torching of one Naga house belonging to Akhoun Liangmai on June 18 at Leimakhong Chingmang “right under the nose of security forces”, the UNC said it was shocked to learn the “premeditated attack on the Naga house by the armed Kukis despite of Naga House Tag being pasted on the wall. The UNC termed it as a provocative action against the Nagas during this conflict and sensitive juncture.


The UNC had earlier cautioned the two warring communities to refrain from such reckless provocation as there are chances of exacerbation of situation with the involvement of other peaceful communities who are living in close proximity to each other. The UNC also said the Naga people have been vouching for peace in the state to restore normalcy without taking any side but it is very unfortunate that there are frequent occurrences of incidents afflicting the Nagas in various areas from both the warring communities.


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“Therefore, the UNC would like to plainly maintain that continuous fighting between the two communities and unrestraint provocations towards their good neighbor will not solve the problem. Rather, it will only worsen and escalate to another level. Thus, shunning of violence and sitting across the table can only bring peace and normalcy in the state. Silence is complicit but our silence or neutrality should not be construed as weakness,” the UNC added.


In a separate statement, the Naga Women’s Union (NWU) said it was deeply shocked to learn the incident that happened on the midnight of June 18 at Leimakhong Chingmang where the Kukis burnt down one Liangmai Naga house belonging to Akhon Liangmai. The house was torched despite the sign “Liangmai Naga” tagged pasted to it. “Moreover, this ugly scene occurred right under the nose of Laimakhong Military Base where hundreds or thousands security force personnel are stationed”, it added.


Inspite of the burning situation in the state for several days, Nagas have been sincerely seeking for peace and advocating for normalcy, said the NWU. “However, in return, our efforts for peace were set ablaze in the blink. Despite repeated pleas and also warnings, Nagas have been attacked several times and ended being the victims since the beginning of the present communal clashes in the state. The NWU as peace loving mothers fear nothing good could be produce if such actions keeps repeating,” it also said.


The Naga Women Union said, “Seeing our own home torched to ashes, it is hard to digest if anyone claims it was a mistake or if anyone tries to take excuses as usual, we are doubtful of the intention. Apologies and consolations could never bring back the heart that was lost”.


Also condemning the incident, the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur(ANSAM) said it was utterly anguished and expressed its resentment against the “obnoxious act” of setting ablaze a house and vandalising of gates belonging to Liangmai Naga in Leimakhong Chingmang Manipur June 18 around 11:40 pm by Kuki militants without any reason and provocation, undermining the seriousness of the prevailing situation.


The ANSAM reminded that Naga people have been urging all the ethnic communities to exercise restraint any kind of violence to prevent further escalation of the prevailing situation and to be the agents of peace and goodwill mission “as these tragic incidents and consequences will heavily cost us all and will be irreparable even to the next generation”. But, the ANSAM said it is excruciating and unfortunate to witness series attacks on Naga community by setting ablaze a Rongmei Naga church, Tangkhul Naga women were assaulted in a broad daylight by the unruly mob, a Rongmei lady was almost beaten to death at her home at Tumnoupokpi village, Zeliangrong boys were badly assaulted at Imphal, three Naga medical employees belonging to a Maring, Moyon and Anal Naga tribes working in Chandel District Hospital were attacked and beaten while they were on their way to hospital at Kakching Lamkhai. “But we have not retaliated,” the Naga student body said.


The ANSAM then said, along with the United Naga Council (UNC) working committee, Naga Women Union (NWU) and  Liangmai Naga Council went for a spot enquiry today and witnessed the house been burnt down and vandalised gates belonging to Liangmai Naga at Leimakhong. They also interacted with the Liangmai leaders and the victims. The team was informed that incident was purely intentional as every Naga house in the Leimakhong area has tagged as ‘Naga House’ to mark that they belong to Naga communit. “Yet, the kuki militants set the house ablaze, where as the neighbouring houses belonging to the kuki community were left untouched in the attack”, it added.


The ANSAM, while placing on record the incident as murderous  and appalling, vehemently condemned the “intentional torching and vandalism” of houses and gates belonging to Nagas. The ANSAM then urged all the parties involved in the present prevailing situation in the state to refrain from attacking and dragging the Nagas into the conflict. “If any more Nagas are harmed, the ANSAM will not remain a silent observer,” it stated.


The ANSAM further urged the concerned authorities to take stern action against the culprits as per the law of the land at the earliest without letting the perpetrators go scot- free. The ANSAM also urged both the central and state governments to religiously work toward restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.


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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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