[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Oct 21: A soldier of the 6th Assam Rifles (AR) was killed by suspected NSCN (IM) cadres on Wednesday morning while they were patrolling near Sanliam village under Lazu circle of Tirap district.
The NSCN (IM) is yet to claim responsibility for the killing, but the state police said that “the NSCN (IM) ambushed the AR personnel.”
The state police and Defence PRO did not respond to messages seeking details on the killing of the soldier identified to be from Andhra Pradesh.
According to information received, AR personnel were on foot patrolling after receiving inputs that the cadres of IM were present in the area.
The soldier who died was reportedly ahead of the rest of the team members when bullets were shot, killing him.
The rest of the AR team escaped unhurt.
The cadres reportedly fled the area after carrying out the attack.
The area has been cordoned off as the state police and AR and CRPF personnel are being sent to the area, according to information received by this daily.
A blue wire, approximately 20 metres long was found in the site where the AR soldier was killed. The BSNL and power department in Arunachal reportedly do not use the kind of wire that has been found near the ambush site.
It is yet to be ascertained whether the wire is part of an improvised explosive device, but it is suspected that a large scale attack was planned.
Meanwhile, there are reports that a new batch of NSCN (IM) cadres have been sent to Changlang, Tirap and Longding districts.
The NSCN (IM) had signed a framework agreement with the Centre on 15 August in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The group is under investigation by the National Investigation Agency for the Tirap massacre of May 2019, where 11 people had lost their lives, including MLA Tirong Aboh.
While the Indo-Naga talks seem to be progressing nowhere, the three districts have witnessed aggravated violence in the last one month as it remains a battleground between various factions of the NSCN and Indian security personnel.