'They are spreading the dreaded virus wherever they force their intrusions'

The irresponsible manner of the AR not being responsive to the call of the WHO to fight against COVID-19 pandemic has become its trademark today, the NSCN-IM said.

The NSCN (I-M) has accused Assam Rifles of conducting raids across ‘Nagalim’, targeting NSCN members and raised serious concerns that the AR personnel “are not aware that they are spreading the dreaded virus wherever they force their intrusions”.

It is already established that in Nagaland and other states in the Northeast that the Indian armed forces particularly the Assam Rifles have the highest COVID-19 infection cases, stated a release issued by the Ministry of Information and Publicity (MIP).

The irresponsible manner of the AR not being responsive to the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight against COVID-19 pandemic has become its trademark today, it stated. The COVID-19 preventive protocols do not seem to exist for the AR. But it would be foolhardy for the AR to play with the life of innocent citizens as they roam freely in the name of doing their duties, it added.

The fact that there are increasing COVID-19 positive cases among the AR personnel proved that many of them are carriers of the highly infectious virus, MIP stated. It is high time for the AR authority to confine their forces personnel within the four corners of their barrack in the interest of containing the fast spreading virus, it added.

It further stated that on August 22 at around 2 am midnight raid, the 5th Assam Rifles led by a major raided the house of a major of the Naga Army at Diphupar, Dimapur (Nagaland). The family resisted the unwarranted knock to enter the house. But the AR forced themselves inside the house, saying they are empowered by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), MIP stated. 

They found nothing incriminating and left saying “wrong input.” But unwittingly, they may have left behind the deadly virus, the release stated. “It is wrong for the haughty AR to leave without tendering an apology to the house owner. They just cannot enter anybody’s house to harass and leave without owning accountability. Decency also matters. Significantly, a raid conducted by the AR is a serious breach of trust. How can the Naga peace process and war-like situation as created by AR go simultaneously?” it stated. 

The Ceasefire Ground Rules (CFGR) has not given free hands to AR in the name of AFSPA, the release stated adding the AR must note that CFGR is agreed upon between the government of India and NSCN (I-M) to put a check on ceasefire violation. The Indian security forces have no special authority beyond the specified ground rules as agreed between the two governments. Therefore, it is another violation of ceasefire ground rules by the 5th AR which will be entered in the record for future reference, it added.

First Published:Aug. 24, 2020, 3:50 p.m.