IMPHAL, Oct 10: Fresh gun battle reportedly broke out between the armed cadres of NSCN (IM) and Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) at Panphai village under Khoupum Police Station in Tamenglong district at around 12.30 pm today.
The exchange of firing from both sides lasted for more than 1 hour. But there is no report of any casualty till the time of filing this report.
According to information received by the press, the confrontation took place while armed cadres of NSCN (IM) were coming to destroy the hideouts of ZUF cadres.
It may be recalled that in the last gun-battle which took place in the evening of October 7 at a spot in between Toushang and Leisok villages under Khoupum police station in Tamenglong district, six persons including five armed cadres of NSCN (IM) and one civilian have been killed, while five others sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, the Rongmei Lu Phom (RLP), Assam, Manipur and Nagaland has deplored the encounter between ZUF and NSCN (IM) at Sitheilong (Leishok village) in the evening of October 7 in which five NSCN (IM) cadres and a civilian driver lost their lives and caused injuries to few others.
Decrying the incident and calling for restraint, RLP, Khoupum area also reportedly took out a procession on October 8 from Gaidimjang to Dam site and back to Gaidimjang via Thhangagong, Daithaojang and Gatao village. The procession was attended by around 2000 women.
A statement signed by President of RLP Khoupum area P Meireina and General Secretary G Sobi Gangmei informed that womenfolk have been trying their best to ease the tense situation and prevent both ZUF and NSCN (IM) from any possible confrontations in future. The womenfolk also escorted both the parties upto to distant place so as to avoid possible encounter and restore peace and normalcy in the area.
RLP women members belonging to Leisok, Taosang and Nungag retrieved the dead bodies and bathed the slain cadres as well as the civilian second driver of the Shaktiman before they were taken to Noney, the statement informed, adding that the incident has created a fear psychosis among the people of Khoupum valley area of Zeliangrong region.
RLP has also urged the Government of Manipur as well as the Government of India to take up necessary measures for restoration of peace and stability in the area.
On the other hand, Soubunglong Village Authority, Women Society, Youth Club and all the villagers expressed shock over the gun-battle which broke out between ZUF and NSCN (IM) at the outskirts of the village on October 7 evening.
In a statement, Khunbu/Chairman of the village authority G Gaibulung described the loss of some precious lives and injuries to some others in the incident as unfortunate and stated that incident has caused panic among the villagers.
The village authority has also appealed to all concerned to restrain themselves from repeating such acts of violence in Zeliangrong area.
Peace and reconciliation must continue for the good of all in the Naga inhabited areas, in particular and Manipur State at large, the village authority maintained.
Source: Hueiyen Lanpao