Naga civil organisations have accused the Assam Rifles of physically assaulting leaders of the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) on January 9 who are also volunteers of the UNC.
Strongly condemning the incident, the United Naga Council (UNC), the Naga People’s Movement for Huan Rights (NPMHR-South Sector) and Naga Women Union (NWU) alleged that the AR led by Colonel GK Mahindra, CO of 34 AR, Maram, apprehended and physically assaulted UNC volunteers including ANSAM president, Seth Shathsang, finance secretary of the association Joseph Adani and the Naga students’ body Education Secretary AC Thotso.
Narrating the sequence of event, the three Naga organisations stated that military convoys are exempted from the purview of the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council to protest creation of new districts by the government of Manipur ‘arbitrarily and without consulting the stakeholders’.
They also said that the UNC volunteers in the past have also witnessed civil commercial vehicles plying along with the military convoy with “On Army Duty” label pasted on them. “On January 9, UNC volunteers on learning about the movement of vehicles which do not belong to the military checked the authenticity of the vehicles and identified eight vehicles plying without documents issued by the Army authority which was admitted by the convoy Commander Major Nishan.
However, the said ANSAM officials were physically assaulted by the CO himself with other jawans joining him. They were detained for several hours before being release following protest of the public and leaders of various organisations,” the UNC, NPMHR and NWU alleged in a joint statement.
“Hence, we demand the authority concerned to take appropriate action against the said Army officer for his brutal action of physical assault on the ANSAM officials and his undignified involvement of facilitating movement of other commercial vehicles with the military convoy,” the three Naga organisations demanded.