Kohima: Following reports which quoted an Assam Rifles (AR) official saying that “ceasefire is applicable only in Nagaland and not in Arunachal Pradesh”, the NSCN-IM sought “official clarification” from the “competent authority concerned” within a week.
A statement from the NSCN-IM on Tuesday said that the “outrageous statement” was made by Brigadier Vijay Chasar, the Commander of 25 Sector of Assam Rifles, who justified the “deplorable operation that resulted in the cold blooded murder” of six of its soldiers on July 11 near Nginu in Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh.
Quoting the official as saying “ceasefire is applicable only in Nagaland and not in Arunachal Pradesh”, the NSCN-IM sought “official clarification” from the “competent authority concerned as to the validity and extent of ceasefire agreement between the GoI and the NSCN”.
It said that as per the Bangkok Agreement dated June 14, 2001, “The ceasefire agreement is between the GoI and the NSCN as two entities without territorial limits”.
“We have been maintaining the essence of this historic agreement in letter and spirit wherever Naga Army operates. Despite repeated and deliberate provocations, we have been restraining ourselves in the larger interest of the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process. A clear-cut answer is, therefore, demanded whether there is ceasefire in Naga inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh state or not,” said the group.
Further, the NSCN-IM warned saying “Make your position officially known within one week time. In the event of ugly aftermaths evolving spontaneously out of such situation, we shall not be held responsible”.
As per a report, following the encounter, the officer had reiterated that the ceasefire ground rules are not applicable in South Arunachal Pradesh and that the security agencies were trying to ascertain if the six militants had links with the NSCN-IM faction operating in Myanmar.
Although the government of India and the NSCN signed the ceasefire agreement “without territorial limits” in 2001, later that year, the GoI announced that ceasefire was limited only to Nagaland, following protests in Manipur.
In April this year, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) had been extended to the disturbed areas of Arunachal Pradesh till September.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the Central government has decided to retain the 1958 Act in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Tirap, Changlang and Longding, and the area falling within the jurisdiction of four police stations, after a review of the situation.
The four police station areas included Namsai and Mahadevpur in Namsai district, Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district and Sunpura in Lohit district. They were earlier declared as ”disturbed areas” in October last year.