The Congress has demanded President’s Rule in Nagaland following a series of violence involving the Isak-Muivah and Khaplang factions of the NSCN.
State Congress chief I Imkong on Tuesday flayed Neiphiu Rio’s Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government, blaming it for “total breakdown” of law and order in Nagland. His outburst followed Sunday’s ethnic violence in which a Sumi (Sema) tribal group set a Tangkhul-dominated colony in Dimapur ablaze.
Some of the 30 houses that were gutted in Wungrum Colony belonged to NSCN (I-M) leaders. The police in Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, later recovered three AK47 rifles from one of the damaged houses.
Imkong, who is also the leader of the Opposition, added: “The incident was very unforunate. Had the government tried to intervene in time, violence would not have reached such devastating proportions. The state that Nagaland is in, only imposition of President’s Rule can bring relief to the people.”
Wungram Colony had about 200 houses inhabited by Tangkhuls—they are primarily from adjoining Manipur—and a number of NSCN (I-M) leaders. Officials said the Sumis had attacked the colony in retaliation to the Tangkhuls’ assault on three Sumi youths last week. Members of the NSCN (I-M) had apparently “punished” the trio for being supportive of the rival NSCN (Khaplang).
While most of the men in the colony fled after the arson, the women and children were shifted to the Nagaland Armed Police Training Centre at Chumukedima nearby.
Though on ceasefire, both NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K) have been fighting each other. Their fratricidal battles have claimed over 200 lives in the past decade, six in the past few days. The security forces have also come under fire for allowing the “internal problem” to worsen.
Notably, Rio’s detractors accuse him of being pro-NSCN (I-M) while the Congress is believed to be soft towards NSCN (K).