Ukl ADC urges CM to stop military move, focus on Covid-19

UKHRUL, 25th Apr: Against the backdrop of the escalating tension over presence of Army in Kasom Khullen block, the Autonomous District Council (ADC) Ukhrul has urged CM Biren Singh to cease the military operations in the border region at once and instead concentrate on the fight against COVID-19 in the state.
"It's our appeal to the state government to order for immediate withdrawal and return of all the Assam Rifles troops and state police forces from the spot and back to their respective barracks to defuse the prevailing tense situation in the border region of Kasom Khullen block", said ADC chairman Dr Yaronsho Ngalung and vice chairman M Isaac on behalf of Ukhrul ADC.
They further urged the state government to direct its attention towards battling the current pandemic with firm determination.
"In this crucial time, the Government cannot afford to leave anything to chance in containing the global pandemic. Our fight against COVID-19 is far from over. But, creating a militarised situation out of a peaceful atmosphere, by sending in troops in multitudes even as lockdown is in force, is very unfortunate and the same is against the concept of concerted efforts to fight the deadly contagion", Dr Ngalung said, while briefing media persons at his official quarter at Phungreitang on Saturday.
Stating that the circumstances compelled local womenfolk to come out in large numbers to confront the security forces, the council chief questioned the rationale for the state government to enforce 'social distancing' rules and simultaneously create a chaotic situation to defy the same rules.
He observed that a time when even locals were advised to stay indoors during the lockdown over the global pandemic, the massive deployment of security forces at the behest of the state government has already put the lives of innocent villagers at risk of contracting the dreaded virus, apart from creating a fear psychosis among the innocent civilians.
"Could one expect adherence to the so-called social distancing rules that the government is advising, when an angry mob comes out and confronts the intruding troops?" he further asked, adding that it was time for the government to focus on battling Covid19, rather than playing any sorts of partisan politics. While terming the military operations amid the nationwide lockdown over the deadly Coronavirus as 'highly unwarranted', Dr Ngalung also cautioned that the move could even have serious ramifications not just on the fight against the killer virus, but also on the existing camaraderie between the hill and valley communities.
By the same token, the militarised situation could also negatively impact the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process if any untoward incidences come out of provoking the NSCN-IM cadres who are peacefully stationed at their designated camp at Kangkum village, he said, suspecting ulterior motives behind the sudden rise in military operations in the border region in recent times.
"Because of this concern, we also seek due intervention from the Government of India to pull out all the security forces from the border region keeping in view the spirit of the ongoing peace process", the council chief said.
ADC vice chairman M Isaac, who was also present in the press meet, expressed that the sudden forcible entry of outsiders in the form of security forces against the wish of the locals is highly condemnable, especially in view of the contagion which the whole world is helplessly battling. Concerned over the defiance of stipulated social distancing norms in the midst of the confrontation, he questioned whether the state government was not bothered about the threat of spreading the deadly virus in the border region.
"With the peace talks smoothly going on between the Centre and NSCN-IM, the Government of India should not allow such situations to repeat to disrupt the process under any circumstances. India should honour the Framework Agreement in the interest of finding an honourable solution at the earliest", Isaac added.

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