[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Jul 14: The bodies of the six NSCN (IM) operatives who were killed in Nginu village in Wakka circle of Longding district on Saturday are still believed to be in a morgue in Dibrugarh in Assam.
While an official of the Assam government said they are awaiting a decision to be made, the police in Arunachal said it is for the government of Assam to decide, keeping in view the Covid-19 restrictions.
The Tezpur-based defence PRO said the Indian Army has no say in the last rites of the bodies as it has already handed them over to the Arunachal Pradesh Police (APP).
“Our job is to carry out operations. Rest of the formalities are with the state police as the bodies were handed over to them,” the PRO said.
The NSCN (IM) did not comment on the bodies, even though it sent a press statement to this daily, stating that the killings were a “well-planned and coordinated act of terrorism by the Indian security forces personnel.”
The Longding district administration, the APP, the Assam Police and the NSCN (IM) did not respond to messages regarding the six bodies.
The bodies may have been disposed of already as no one has claimed them, said a source.
The Naga Hoho, however, wrote to the Longding deputy commissioner, seeking the return of the mortal remains.
In a letter to the DC, the Naga Hoho said it “desires to bring all the slain bodies for final rites in their respective villages as our conscious does not allow our sons to be buried in an unknown land without showing last respect to the departed souls.”
The Naga Hoho requested the district administration to make necessary arrangements and send the mortal remains to Nagaland.
Of the six killed, one each is from Assam and Arunachal, and two each are from Nagaland and Manipur.
The APP said that the bodies were shifted to Dibrugarh as there is no cold storage in Longding.
The Naga Mothers’ Association has reportedly written to the chairman of the ceasefire monitoring group, seeking his help in sending the bodies back to their respective villages.
The NSCN (IM) cadre was killed in a joint operation by the Indian Army, the 6 Assam Rifles and the APP.
Arms and ammunition were found from the slain operatives, according to the police.
The APP said that the team that was killed had been sent by Rockwang alias Absolom Thangkul, who was involved in the murder of MLA Tirong Aboh on 21 May, 2019.
The state police said that the cadre was planning to abduct the Longding market president and secretary, following which a joint operation was launched.
Reliable sources say that more operations will be carried out against the NSCN (IM), putting a question mark on the already fragile relations between the NSCN group and security forces.
The government of India had signed a framework agreement on 3 August, 2015 with the NSCN (IM) to find a lasting solution to the Naga issue, but the details are not available.
Even after the signing of the framework agreement, it has been a bloody affair all these years as violent confrontations between the two have continued unabated.
Meanwhile, the NSCN (IM) has in a statement sought clarification on the validity and extent of the ceasefire agreement between the Centre and the NSCN.
It sought a clear-cut answer as to “whether there is ceasefire in Naga inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh state or not.”
In a press statement responding to a comment from the Assam Rifles, it said that the official position should be made known within a week’s time.
“In the event of ugly aftermaths evolving spontaneously out of such situation, we shall not be held responsible,” it said.
[ Tongam Rina ]