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NSCN (IM) 'Detain and Interrogate Army officer

HEBRON: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) “detained and interrogated” a 16-member army team led by a Lt Colonel for about half-an-hour after it “trespassed” the gate of the outfit’s central headquarters at Hebron in Nagaland.

A statement emailed to DH by the NSCN (IM) said the incident happened around 4.30pm on Friday when the army team led by Lt Col Mohammad Zabiulla belonging to its signal department in its Zakhama post entered Kamdi Bazar in Peren district, where the outfit’s central headquarters is situated.

“The army personnel came in four gypsys and trespassed the gate of central headquarters at Hebron to go towards Jalukie. However, they were stopped at the gate by the Naga Army personnel who were already alerted about the Indian Army personnel moving towards the Hebron. The Indian army personnel were detained and interrogated for about half-an-hour. The Indian army personnel who started their journey from Rangapahar army camp claimed that they followed the direction given by the passersby and had no idea that they were to cross the central headquarters of Government of People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN),” said the statement.

The statement said it was a violation of the ground rules of ceasefire it had signed with the government in 1997. “However, the Indian army personnel were cautioned and set free in good faith after they admitted their serious mistake,” it said.

The NSCN (IM), which is in ceasefire with the Centre since 1997, runs its own government called GPRN and its central headquarters at Hebron is its power centre. They have their armed cadre whom they call Naga Army and move freely in the designated areas in Nagaland.

The NSCN (IM) says Nagas were never part of India and have been leading an “armed battle” for protecting unique identity of the Nagas.

The NSCN (IM) signed a broad framework agreement with the government in August 2015 and is expected to sign a final agreement soon for a solution to the decades-long Naga problem.

“The GPRN wonders why the Lt Col did not coordinate with the various Indian army units stationed in and around Dimapur. The Indian army personnel could have taken the Sukhovi village route where the Indian army has its training centre to connect to Jalukie or taken the Niuland route which is being used by the public due to roadblock/landslides at NH-29 near Chumukedima. It was a total negligence on the part of the Indian army personnel to have reached a sensitive area such as the doorstep of our central headquarters at Hebron,” said the statement.

An army spokesperson, when asked by DH on Sunday, said he was not aware of such an incident yet.

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