Mokokchung, 17 February (MTNews): In a region already burdened with ethnic tensions, a recent incident has ignited outrage and condemnation from the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM).

According to the NSCN-IM, Kuki National Army (B) militants killed one Honpam Chithung on 10 February 2024 in Myanmar “for reasons best known to them.” The NSCN-IM stated that the killing of Chithung has “evoked a strong response from the Nagas in general,” particularly the NSCN-IM, questioning whether Chithung’s Tangkhul ethnicity played a role in his death.

It further regretted that no cooperation was forthcoming from the Phaikoh headman and his villagers when the Tangkhul CSOs went to the place at Phaikoh to retrieve the mortal remains of Chithung. The NSCN-IM said that they “cannot rule out the involvement of Assam Rifles based at Phaikok collaborating with KNA (B) in killing Honpam Chithung.”

“This particular incident is something that has played into the nerves of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) and GPRN as people’s government have taken strong exception against the KNA (B) and the Kuki villages in the border like Mawailuk, Aishi, Phaikoh etc.,” the NSCN-IM said. It added that such “senseless warmongering” has been recorded as an affront to the “dignity and manhood of the Nagas.”

The NSCN-IM emphasized that despite numerous provocations, the Nagas have maintained a stance of neutrality in the “state sponsored ethnic conflict” between the Meiteis and the Kuki-Zo communities since 3 May 2023. It said they have extended humanitarian assistance to displaced Kuki-Zo people fleeing from war-torn Myanmar and taken shelter in Naga areas in Kamjong and other places in the Ukhrul district who have fled from Imphal valley, as an expression of their faith in God.

However, the NSCN viewed that “things seem to have gone wrong in the hands of the Kuki militants, notably KNA-B, with their insane warmongering.”

“Repeated messages given to the Kuki-Zo people should not be treated in a casual manner. That the Nagas wish to coexist peacefully with the Kuki-Zo but without compromising the Naga’s geopolitical right should be acted upon with an open heart, respecting the Naga’s traditional right over the land,” it added.

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