The number of civilians injured in the armed resistance of Sumi people against the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) rose to five after one more was injured as the NSCN(IM) and Sumi people exchanged fire again at Mukalimi in Zunheboto district on Sunday.

The Sumis, one of the major Naga tribes, marched to the Mukalimi designated camp of the outfit after their frontal organisations called a campaign to flush NSCN(IM) militants out of their areas.

On Saturday, NSCN(IM) workers opened fire on Sumi protesters, killing one and injuring four. The Sumi organisations called for the campaign as the militant outfit did not respond to their demand for handing over to the district administration the NSCN(IM) members who had allegedly attacked two women, and some men accompanying them, on December 21.

Nagaland Home Commissioner Temjen Toy said on Sunday: “Such a situation [as in Zunheboto] cannot be allowed to continue as it will likely lead to more violence and bloodshed. Therefore, in the interest of restoring peace and harmony in the State, the only option now open is that the camp at Mukalimi should be vacated, and this is being taken up by the State government with appropriate authorities.”

A senior district police officer told The Hindu that a huge crowd, including some armed with guns, had taken positions half-a-km from the camp, asking the NSCN(IM) to vacate it and go out of the Mukali and Sumi areas. “An exchange of fire took place, in which one civilian was injured.”

Mr. Toy said the State government had made efforts to prevent any confrontation between members of the public and NSCN(IM) workers stationed at Mukalimi, but it was not possible to prevent the thousands of people from proceeding to the camp. Naga civil organisations — Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association and Naga Students’ Federation — which met top NSCN(IM) leaders at Dimapur on Sunday demanded that the “culprits” be handed over to the administration through civil society organisations.

“However, it was quiet unfortunate that the NSCN(IM) leaders could not give any positive response; instead, they referred the matter to the collective leadership [NSCN(IM) chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah]. An ultimatum was sent to the collective leadership in order to resolve the problem which they themselves have created,” these organisations said in a statement.