Massive protests organised against kidnappings in TCL by NSCN(K-YA)

LONGDING, 30 May: More than 5,000 people from all walks of life on Monday took to the streets here and in Kanubari to protest against the frequent kidnapping of innocent villagers of Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts by the NSCN (K-YA).

The protest rallies were organised simultaneously here and in Kanubari circle under the banner of the Wancho Council (WC).

The protestors here marched from the market area to the DC’s office, shouting slogans against the abduction of innocent people and demanding that the insurgent group immediately stop its nefarious activities.

Later, the WC submitted a two-point memorandum to the governor through Longding DC Bani Lego, seeking the governor’s intervention “to check insurgency in the region by enhancing security along the India-Myanmar border, and providing a rehabilitation package for the surrendered members of the insurgent groups in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts.”

The WC stated that frequent incidents of kidnapping of innocent villagers, particularly in Longding district, and the atrocities meted out to the people by the NSCN (K-YA) have made the life of the poor people unbearable.

“These incidents have created a fear psychosis among the people of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts,” the memorandum stated, adding that the participation of people in large numbers in the rallies “speaks volumes about the gravity of the prevailing situation.”

The council stated that insurgent groups are carrying out their nefarious activities at their whims, taking advantage of the porous international border.

It said that, apart from insurgency activities, the region bordering Myanmar is becoming a hotbed for drugs trade by insurgent groups.

The memorandum stated that the untold sufferings of the people of the region never reached the government.

Stating that lack of employment opportunities and insecure future are two of the root causes behind the youths joining the insurgent groups, the WC appealed to the governor to provide a rehabilitation package for the surrendered operatives.

“A large number of youths remain unemployed and get misguided to join in antinational activities unknowingly. Now, these misguided youths need a genuine parental care, so that they feel secure and surrender from antinational activities and join in the mainstream,” the memorandum read.

“The rehabilitation package will encourage all the misguided youths to surrender and come back to the mainstream of the society to lead a normal life by getting involved in self-employed activities,” the memorandum added.

According to the WC, 12 persons were abducted during April-May from various villages of the district and were later released on payment of ransom. “Around Rs 19 lakhs were paid to secure their release,” it said.

On 16 May, the GB of Chattong village was abducted, and he is still in the captivity of the abductors. On 17 May, Pumao village GPM Hub Wangnaw was detained by an insurgent group while he had gone to secure the release of another abducted person, Alai Wangsu. However, Wangsu has reportedly been released.

The rally saw the participation of the Wancho Students’ Union, the Longding District Students’ Union, the All Wancho Women Welfare Society, the Wancho Cultural Society, all the chiefs, GBs, PRI leaders, intellectuals, and general public.

The rally in Kanubari witnessed the participation of people from over 50 villages.

Protest rallies were also organised in Khonsa and Deomali in Tirap district. People from all walks of life joined the rallies.