Nagaland: Assam Rifles alleged of assaulting women;   ZSTH demands apology, threatens to launch stir

Nagaland: Assam Rifles alleged of assaulting women; ZSTH demands apology, threatens to launch stir

KOHIMA | Aug 10, 2019:

The 32nd battalion of the Assam Rifles stationed in Zunheboto town of Nagaland has been alleged of violating human rights norms by "beating up" unarmed citizens including women.

The matter came to light on August 8, a day after the Assam Rifles troops apprehended a Self Style Captain of the NSCN (K-YA) faction, Hito Sumi project colony in Zunheboto town.

On the same day the NSCN (K-YA) cadre was apprehended, villagers alleged that at around 5 pm of August 7, two Army persons donning civilian clothes were observed clicking photographs from their mobile phones in a suspicious manner.

According to a memorandum issued by the Zunheboto Sumi Totimi Hoho (ZSTH) to the Zunheboto DC on August 8, it was stated that when some of the colony youths confronted the personnel for "secretly" clicking their photographs, a heated argument broke out between the two parties.

"By 5.30 pm, the contingents of 32nd Assam Rifles suddenly arrived at the spot and surrounded the area with cocked gun and started beating up the youths mercilessly that one Arkha of Hekiye village and Hito of Sukhalu village, who is also a tuberculosis patient, were badly beaten," read the letter.

Furthermore, it was alleged that when some women and mothers tried to intervene, the AR personnel started beating them with AK 47 and SLR rifle butts.

Condemning this "barbaric conduct" of the AR, the ZSTH president, Boholi Awomi said that this act is beyond all human rights norms and complete disrespect to women.

They have demanded an "unconditional apology" from the commandant of the 32nd AR Zunheboto on or before August 14 failing of which the ZSTH will initiate shutter-down agitation across Zunheboto town.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Assam Rifles officials have refuted all allegations.

Earlier, according to a press release issued by Defence PRO, it was informed
that the AR troops launched an operation after receiving information on the presence of NSCN (K-YA) cadre in the Zunheboto. The cadre, who hails from Litsami village in Zunheboto, was apprehended along with one 9 mm pistol with magazine.

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