15 ENNG rebels surrender with arms

ITANAGAR, 12 Mar: Fifteen militants of the Eastern Naga National Government (ENGG), along with the outfit’s chief Tosham Mossang, surrendered before Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday.

The rebels surrendered with arms and ammunitions during a ‘homecoming’ ceremony organised at the police headquarters here, officials said.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Home Minister Bamang Felix, besides Assam Rifles officers, and senior civil and police officers were present at the function.

The other rebels who surrendered include self-styled (SS) colonels Chopsai Pangsa and Wangjen Pangtha, SS major Daniel Sankey, SS captain Maithangla Tikhak, SS lieutenants Monpi Mamai and Samhon Songthing, and SS sergeants Wangwa Hatum and Hemraj Pradhan, SIT SP Rohit Rajbir Singh informed.

The others were SS captains Netra Kumar Rai, Limpha Khimsing, Khunglun Mossang and Bainong Mungrey, and SS second lieutenant Lungphang Jugli, he said.

Nine Chinese-made MQ series weapons, two AK-47 rifles, one Chinese-made pistol, 19 magazines, 415 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, five rounds of 9 mm pistol, four Chinese grenades, one under-barrel launcher with fins, and six walker-talkies were deposited during the ceremony, Singh said.

Terming the event “historic,” Khandu lauded the combined offensive and negotiating

efforts of the Assam Rifles and the state police in convincing the rebels to shun violence and join the national mainstream.

“Gun culture is not a solution to the problem. Today’s surrender is a positive move by the outfit to restore peace in the state. I am optimistic that other groups will follow suit in the days to come,” he said.

Assuring the surrendered rebels of the government’s support for their rehabilitation, Khandu said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to restore peace in the Northeast. “As a result, many rebel groups of the region have already started peace talks with the respective state governments and many have already joined the mainstream,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Felix said that the ENNG has now become “almost nonexistent” after the surrender of its chief along with 14 others.

The outfit had shot to prominence in January 2015 under Mossang. The purported aim of the outfit was to fight for the demands of eastern Myanmar Nagas and the Nagas of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, Singh said.

Its cadres were involved in extortion from various business establishments, coal and timber traders, contractors and public representatives. Cases of waging war against the state, murder and attempt to murder have been registered against elements in the outfit, he said.

ENNG cadres were active in Longding and Changlang districts and had set up a camp near Lungpang village in Rima-Putok circle of Changlang district, which was demolished by security forces in recent times, besides their camp in Lungruk in Myanmar.

Around 20-25 operatives were active in the organisation through different periods and have sophisticated arms, he said.

“In the last few weeks, seven rebels of the outfit were apprehended in a joint action by the police and security forces in the operative region along with arms,” Singh said.

Maj Gen Vikas Lakhera from IGAR HQ (N), 25 Sector HQ Commander, Brig Swarn Singh, Chief Secretary Dharmendra, and DGP Satish Golchha also attended the surrender function. (PTI)