At least three people died in a reported gunfight between Zeliangrong United Front (Jenchui) group and NSCN (I-M) at Lamdangmei village under Khoupum Police Station, Noney district around 7.10 am on Sunday.
As per police reports, two deceased are ZUF (J) cadres and the third one is an NSCN (I-M) cadre. The two ZUF (J) cadres are identified as Rachunlung Gangmei, 37, son of Ngamjinnang Gangmei of Namdailong Cachar and Daigong Gonmei, 25, son of (L) Poujuakngam Gonmei of Longsum (Awang Khul).
Police reports said that villagers refused to hand over the two ZUF (J) cadres to the police for postmortem. The body of the NSCN (I-M) cadre had already been taken away when the police reached the spot, added the reports.
The deceased NSCN (I-M) cadre was later identified as Sergeant Major Ramreikan @ Akan of Shirui village. He is believed to be the commander of the NSCN (I-M) group.
Meanwhile, various civil society organisations of the Zeliangrong community on Sunday vehemently condemned the violence frequently erupting in Zeliangrong inhabited areas.
A joint consultative meeting of the Zeliangrong CSOs was held at Namdunlong community hall, Imphal, stated a release. Many including prominent leaders discussed the prevailing situation in the state vis-a-vis Zeliangrong people’s situation and position, stated a joint release.
Attendees also unanimously condemned the frequent gunfights that allegedly occurred between NSCN (I-M) and ZUF in Zeliangrong territory, it asserted. It added that two ZUF cadres and one NSCN (I-M) cadre reportedly lost their lives in a gunfight at Lamdangmei Chiru’s village on Sunday. It lamented that the incident occurred despite the existing Ceasefire and Cessation of Operation agreement between the outfits and the Centre.
The same happened due to mishandling, inefficiency and ineffectiveness on the part of the Union Government, it accused. It demanded the Centre bear the entire responsibility for the mess and stated that necessary ex-gratia and compensations as per relevant provisions and rules must also be given for the loss of lives.
It further voiced the interest and sentiment of the people and urged all armed groups to refrain from killing among Nagas and shun all forms of violence in Zeliangrong inhabited areas.
Leaders of different CSOs namely Zeliangrong Union, Zeliangrong Baudi, Rongmei Naga People’s Organisation, Rongmei Naga Council Manipur, Zeliangrong Youth Front, Rongmei Naga Student’s Organisation Manipur, Zeliangrong United Committee Manipur Valley, Kabui Mother’s Association, social workers and activists, intellectuals, former organisations leaders, representatives and village elders took part in the meet, it mentioned.