A day after NSCN-U leader Bohoto Kiba’s son and his wife were arrested for brandishing sophisticated firearms at their wedding in Dimapur, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Unification (NSCN-U), a breakaway faction of NSCN (Isak-Muivah), issued a statement saying a “witch-hunt” was set into motion for a young man and his wife, who held weapons for “boyhood emotion” and “thrill”.
“…The young man’s father is a respected Naga leader, holding a red category identity card (meaning entitlement of two weapons for personal safety). The groom, on his wedding day, after all the guests had left, overcame by boyhood emotion and thrill of wanting to hold a real weapon on his most significant day, requested his father’s security guards to let him and his ladylove click photos with permitted weapons. They took photos in a private space with few family members around. Somehow the photo got forwarded to WhatsApp and the rest, as they say, is history,” the NSCN press statement claims.
Nagaland Director General of Police T John Longkumer was not available for comments on the issue.
On Thursday, Bohoto Kiba’s son and his wife were charged under the Indian Arms Act, 1959 and arrested by the Nagaland Police. The duo was later released on a bail bond. Kiba’s bodyguards were also arrested for giving firearms to the couple.
The NSCN statement also alleges that the judiciary and the legal system has caught up the young couple in a “witch-hunt”.
“Indian judiciary and legal system seem to have caught up with the young couple. A witch hunt has been set into motion”, the statement says, adding that the NSCN and Government of the People’s Republic of Nagaland (GPRN), which is the rebel outfit’s self-styled Naga government, will produce thousands of pictures of non-national Naga workers, ranging from 10-70 years of age, both men and women, who have proudly posed with exact or more lethal weapons than the ones used by the bride and the groom.
Terming the couple’s decision to flaunt firearms in the wedding as an “error of judgement”, the rebel outfit has sought the government that the law should not interpret a wedding day photo as a crime against the Indian state.
NSCN-U is also among seven Naga outfits that are currently in talks with the Indian government for a permanent solution of the Naga insurgency.