The Liangmai Naga Indigenous Forum (LNIF) has strongly condemned the disturbing incident in which Z Hotngambou, former village chairman of Rianglong, fell victim to a life-threatening assault by members of the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) at Chalwa Village on September 5, 2023.
Mr. Z Hotngambou, known for his commitment to peace and hard work, was driving his Bolero pickup towards Imphal when he encountered a group of Kuki militants at Chalwa Village. The militants demanded a sum of money, which he was unable to provide. He was called aside and subjected to multiple physical assaults on his face and head, leaving him temporarily unconscious and bleeding.
The LNIF appeals to the Kuki people residing along I.T. Road to foster love, respect for others, and peaceful coexistence within the state. The forum strongly advocates against the harassment of innocent individuals and the illegal taxation of various communities, including vegetable sellers, charcoal makers, parkia (yongchak) traders, and villagers.
This incident is not an isolated case, as various Kuki groups have been implicated in acts of extortion, threats, physical assault, and harassment along I.T. Road. The LNIF raises pertinent questions about the repeated targeting of the Naga community in recent times:
1. In January 2005, Manu Champonbou, Chairman of Tudon II, suffered brutal beatings and the loss of his front teeth at the hands of Kuki militants in Chalwa, witnessed by a crowd of onlookers.
2. In October 2007, chairmen of Kadi village part III & IV, Manu Wipoubou and Khangriangbou, were severely beaten by KRA militants while returning home from Imphal. The militants demanded a significant sum of money, leading to physical assaults when the funds were not provided.
3. On October 27, 2017, Manu Agombou, the Secretary of Tamei Centre Church, was subjected to merciless assault and threats by KRA members, who detained him for over five hours, robbed him of valuables, and inflicted physical harm.
4. In June 2020, during the pandemic lockdown, an LPG supplier to Tamei faced a brutal attack by anti-social individuals in Chalwa village.
5. On June 18, 2023, a Naga widow's home in Leimakhong was deliberately set on fire, resulting in the complete destruction of her property.
6. On May 2, 2023, Kuki militants forcefully stopped a truck carrying a monolith on I.T. Road and demanded money despite official documents and appeals, ultimately snatching away Rs 1000.
7. On May 27, 2023, Kuki militants fired automatic weapons in Namdilong, Kanglatongbi village, causing fear and distress among infants, women, elderly citizens, and sick individuals.
The LNIF emphasizes that acts of brutality and savagery have no place in the modern world and pose direct threats and challenges to the peace-loving Naga community. The forum calls upon every Naga citizen to unite against such elements that threaten society's fabric.
Furthermore, the LNIF urges the state government to formulate a comprehensive policy aimed at safeguarding unarmed civilians and demands that law enforcement agencies take swift action to apprehend armed groups, ensuring they face appropriate legal consequences.
Meanwhile, The United Naga Council (UNC) has issued a resolute condemnation following a brutal assault on Mr. Zuina Hotngambou of Rianglong village in Tamei Sub-Division, Tamenglong District, on the morning of September 5, 2023. The incident occurred at Chalwa along the IT road and involved the Kuki Revolutionary Army, which is currently under Suspension of Operations (SoO).
The UNC expresses deep shock and dismay at the recurring acts of brutal violence targeting Naga villagers traveling and transporting goods along the IT road. These acts, characterized by extortion and unwarranted intimidation, are a grave cause for concern. The UNC unequivocally denounces such actions and takes strong exception to them.
The UNC calls for justice to be served for the victim, Mr. Zuina Hotngambou.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today