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Six NSCN (IM) members gunned down in Arunachal Pradesh

Arms and ammunition recovered after six NSCN (IM) members were killed in an encounter with security forces in Arunachal Pradesh’s Khonsa area on July 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A joint team of the paramilitary Assam Rifles and police on Saturday gunned down six members of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim or Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN in an encounter in Arunachal Pradesh.

Officials said an Assam Rifles trooper was injured in the gunfight in Longding district bordering Nagaland. Most factions of NSCN are active in Longding, Changlang and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, where ceasefire agreements do not apply.

This is said to be the biggest operation against the extremists in recent times.

Confirming the incident, Arunachal Pradesh Director-General of Police R.P. Upadhyaya said the joint team followed specific inputs that an “armed gang” of NSCN members was trying to carry out a few kidnappings for extortion and might attack the security forces.

“The place where the incident happened is a 40-minute trek from nearest village Nginu, which is about a two-hour journey from district headquarters Longding,” he said.

He added that the extremists fired about 250 rounds.

“We have recovered six firearms including four AK-47 rifles, two grenades, an improvised explosive device and 500 rounds of unused ammunition. Senior police and Assam Rifles officers are at the spot where the operation is still on,” Mr. Upadhyaya said.

The NSCN (IM), the largest extremist group in the northeast, has been engaged in peace negotiations with the Centre since 1997. The territorial limit of the ceasefire is within Nagaland, although the outfit and other factions are active in adjoining States in the region.

There have been signs that the peace process hit turbulence, with Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi pulling up the State government in mid-June for its inability to rein in the “armed gangs” carrying out “gunpoint extortion” and running parallel governments. Though he did not name any organisation, the NSCN (IM) struck back, advising him to show his commitment to the peace process and not try to derail it.

Some top NSCN (IM) leaders, reportedly frustrated with the “never-ending” peace process, are learnt to have gone underground again and negotiating with Chinese agencies for a possible return to insurgency.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:50:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/six-insurgents-killed-in-encounter-in-arunachal-pradesh/article32049430.ece

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