No forceful recruitment — Naga groups
Kohima, Nov. 25 (EMN): Various armed Naga groups have maintained they are not involved in forceful recruitment.
Contradicting claims by the security forces, the NSCN (IM) on Monday issued a statement saying that “Naga youths willing to join the Naga national service out of their own conviction does not violate the ceasefire ground rules (CFGR). They are not being forced by any local authority or NSCN.”
It stated that ever since the Naga political movement started more than seventy years ago, the “passion to serve the Naga nation has been growing steadily and spontaneously among the Naga youths” because the Indo-Naga political issue matters to them.
“It matters to them because it is a question of redefining Naga’s political identity. It is a question of protecting Naga’s historical and political right. Thus, it is a question of Naga’s pride as a nation. This is the reason why young people, irrespective of their education level continues to be motivated to find their way to NSCN camps and other political groups,” read the statement.
The group’s statement comes in the backdrop of the Indian security forces claiming that it had foiled a covert recruitment bid by the NSCN (IM) in Mon district on November 21.
“This is a misplaced statement against the NSCN and goes against the historical right and reality as testified in the past many years. Naga people’s zeal to serve the political cause of the Naga nation should not be undermined and contaminated in such a manner,” the group asserted.
The NSCN (R) also said that it ‘stands in solidarity’ with the NSCN (IM) as far as the issue of CFGR is concerned.
The group’s functionary, Amento V Chophi told Eastern Mirror on Monday that ‘as long as people come to join us voluntarily we make our stand clear that it is not violation of the ground rules’.
Though the recently arrested cadres were not from the NSCN (R), he said, the group ‘echo the view of the NSCN (IM)’.
On November 20, the NNPGs –NSCN (R), NSCN (K), and NSCN (U)—during a meeting with the Ceasefire Monitoring Board in Kohima, had denied allegations of forceful recruitment by the groups.
The NSCN-IM, too, was reported to have denied allegations of forceful recruitment of cadres, during the ceasefire meeting, which was held the next day, on November 21 in Kohima.
According to an Army source, the two apprehended NSCN (IM) cadres, who were being kept in police custody, were released as “there was no complaint from their side”.