FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL, March 24: While the State and the Central forces are watching the bloody scenes from a safe distance, the insurgents of the tiol Socialist Council of galim (Isak-Muivah) and the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) are locked into running gun battles at several thick mountain scrub lands in Tamenglong district of Manipur. Meanwhile, in a press release, the ZUF claimed to have gunned down two insurgents of the NSCN(IM) in an encounter on Sunday.
Both the outfits have been trying to gain area domition in the district. There had been instances of confrontation between the two groups at various places. However, for unexplained reasons, the Home minister Gaikhangam Gangmei has not pulled up the state forces. He is not making his presence felt among the Central forces by approaching the Union Home Minister on the burning issue. Gangmei was elected from this district.
There are reports of armed conflicts between the two groups in Tamenglong district on Sunday and Monday at different places.
Officially, there is no casualty figure. However L. Longmei, the secretary of information and publicity of ZUF said that in the encounter which took place on Sunday at Guiteng village, the ZUF had killed two NSCN(IM) men. He further said that it is a system of the NSCN(IM) to carry away the dead bodies to conceal many facts. He also alleged that the NSCN(IM) collected domestic livestock and other victuals from the villagers without payment and reduced some villagers to porters.
The ZUF insurgents attacked the NSCN(IM) “killing two of them on the spot and injuring two others”.
Since the State and the Central forces never rush to the sites of the gun battles the factual positions are not known. There is not even follow up combing operations which means that the armed persons can and remain in the district without fear of being made accountable.