Kohima: In a strong rebuttal to the NSCN (IM) on Saturday, the Indian Army rubbished denial of the insurgent outfit in the brutal killing of one Jomie Konyak, an active cadre of the NSCN (KK), on the outskirts of Chatung Village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district on February 28.

As reported by EastMojo earlier, Jomie Konyak, a self-styled private of the NSCN (KK), was allegedly killed by suspected NSCN (IM) cadres in Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district last Sunday, February 28.

“The claim of NSCN (IM) that it was not responsible for the brutal killing of Konyak, an active cadre of NSCN (K2), on 28 Feb, 2021, is baseless and involves hiding and misrepresentation of actual facts,” the Army said in a statement issued Saturday. 

Konyak (22) was killed in a suspected case of inter-factional clash between the two outfits. The incident took place at Chatung Village, around 25km from the headquarters of Longding district.

According to the Indian Army, the dead body of Konyak, a resident of Mon District in Nagaland, was found by an old man of Chatung Village at about 2:30 pm on February 28. 

“The body was found blindfolded, tied to a tree and had injury marks depicting torture before being shot,” Army sources said.  

Revealing investigations into the case, an official said: “At 3:30 pm on the same day, SS Sgt Wanglem Wangsu, who had earlier defected from NSCN (IM) to NSCN (K2) in 2019, revealed that while resting in Chatung at a hut near Tisa River with Konyak, they had observed few NSCN (IM) cadres. When they tried to escape, Konyak was caught by the NSCN (IM) cadres.”  

The Army, in its statement, said that Konyak underwent severe torture by NSCN (IM) before being shot dead. “Local inputs indicate that Wangnai of the NSCN (IM) was likely involved in this killing.” 

According to the Indian Army, the NSCN (IM) faction has been involved in several other killings in the past that have allegedly been denied by the insurgent faction.

“The NSCN (IM) has been repeatedly refuting their immoral acts, as was the case in the killing of Tirong Aboh, MLA from Tirap and 10 locals in June 2018. They were also involved in the ambush on one Assam Rifles column in Sanliam, South Arunachal Pradesh on October 21, 2020, as well as the beating up of a peace-loving citizen on a peaceful march with Indian and Naga flag. They also abducted and tortured a social activist from Manipur for filing an RTI application against misappropriation of funds,” an Army official said.

In its statement, Indian Army has urged the NSCN (IM) hierarchy to take ownership of the incident and to “refrain from diversionary tactics by targeting Assam Rifles with an objective of fending off immoral acts of their cadres.”

“Assam Rifles, being the sentinels of the North East, will continue to look after the best interest of the region and locals,” the Army statement said.

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