Nagaland police arrest 8 trekkers on Dzuko trip

MMTA WARNS OF LAUNCHING AGITATION IF TREKKERS NOT RELEASED WITHIN 24 HRS

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 27th Nov: Nagaland Police have arrested eight trekkers (six men and two women) of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA), who were part of a expedition team to Dzuko Valley, that was organised by MMTA in connection with Manipur Sangai festival 2018.
With regard to the incident, Chief Minister N Biren has already intimated his Nagaland counterpart to release the 8 trekkers at the earliest. However, there has been no report of their release at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, MMTA president Bijoy Kakchingtabam has demanded release of the trekkers within 24 hours without any conditions, while cautioning of launching intense agitations along state CSOs in case of failure to free them.
Addressing media persons at MMTA office here Tuesday, Bijoy informed that as part of the ongoing Manipuri Sangai Festival, MMTA had taken up four different packages which includes trekking expedition to Dzuko Valley in Senapati, Lai Maton in Churachandpur, Shirui in Ukhrul and Tharon in Tamenglong districts.
On November 23, 15 trekkers of MMTA (11 men and 4 women) left Imphal for Dzuko Valley as part of the Dzuko Valley package. After reaching the valley on November 26, the group was trying to take photographs of the scenery when a wildfire suddenly occurred. They tried their level best to put out the wildfire but were unsuccessful. In the end, they had to flee the area for safety, he conveyed.
During the escape, the team split into two groups. One group of 8 trekkers (6 men and two women) fled to Nagaland side while another group of 7 trekkers (5 men and 2 women) raced into Manipur territory. The 7 trekkers managed to safely arrive here but the 8 trekkers were arrested by Nagaland police without giving any reason.
Bijoy said that it was only at around 5.30 pm Monday when they received news that the 8 trekkers were detained by Southern Angami Youth Organisation volunteers. MMTA immediately informed CM Biren about the incident and appealed to him (CM) to ensure safe return of the trekkers. The CM then sent a message to Nagaland CM regarding the incident. The Chief Secretary of Manipur also intimated his Nagaland counterpart on the same.
Following this, Nagaland police rescued the 8 trekkers from the hands of Southern Angami Youth Organisation at around 9.45 pm Monday. However, instead of releasing them, they were detained at Khuzama Police Station. It is yet to be known for what reasons the 8 trekkers have been detained and what case has been registered against them, the MMTA president added.
Appealing to the state government to help facilitate their release within 24 hours without any condition whatsoever, Bijoy cautioned of launching intense agitation along with state CSOs, in case the appeal does not evoke positive response. MMTA has always extended its assistance in times of any natural calamities in the state and has brought glory and recognition, not only to Manipur but also to the entire North Easter region. As such, the state government should pay serious attention to the issue at hand, he stressed.


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