Indian Army Friday busted an illegal camp of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland led by Isaac-Muivah (NSCN-IM) militant in the remote jungle of Manipur’s Noney and Tamenglong districts.
During the counter-insurgency operation named “Operation Kekru Naga”, the Army not only recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition but also arrested an NSCN-IM cadre. “This operation and the recovery of huge arms, ammunition and warlike stores has yet again exposed the duplicity of NSCN (IM),” said Commander 59 Mountain Division of the Indian Army Brigadier Ravroop Singh.
Singh pointed out that the “Cease Fire Ground Rules” lay down basic framework under which both, government agencies and NSCN (IM) are required to operate, however, the NSCN (IM) has continuously been violating the ground rules laid down by them.
He added that civilians of Nungba Sub Division, Todaijang, Kekru Naga, Muktina and Mukti Khullen had reported the presence of cadres and that they were involved in harassment and extortion. Confirming the reports of the civilians, intelligence agencies and army sources said that militants were ruthlessly carrying out extensive illegal extortion from villagers, local businessmen, vehicles plying along the NH-37.
Elaborating on the search operation conducted by the Army, Singh said that a well-synergized operation was commenced on Juy 5 in a small village of about 90 houses approximately eight Kilometers South of Nungba Town where an extensive search of the area was carried out. Sensing the presence of multiple columns of security forces, the armed cadres fled the area after hiding their weapons at various locations in and around the village, claimed Singh adding that an armed cadre of NSCN (IM) was apprehended while he was trying to merge with the local population.
The weapons recovered from the camp included four rifles, two grenade launchers and large quantities of ammunition besides incriminating documents, diaries and other administrative stores of NSCN (IM).
The army commander further maintained that the attempts for setting up of new camps, fresh recruitments, extortion and tax collection specifically along NH-2 & NH-37 impacting infrastructure projects like railway lines, road construction etc are all indicative of their effort to undermine the peace process. Claiming that security forces were aware of the plans of the outfit, Singh said they would continue to provide security to the local population.