GUWAHATI: Assam Rifles personnel shot dead an alleged insurgent belonging to Naga rebel group, NSCN-IM in an early morning encounter inside a forest at Kepelu village under Mahur Police Station in Dima Hasao hill district of Assam close to Assam-Nagaland boundary in the area. A camp of the rebel was busted in the operation.

Security sources informed that Assam Rifles personnel had launched a search operation in the area since yesterday acting on a tip –off that NSCN-IM rebel had set up a camp in the jungle of the area.

One AK-56 assault rifle and some incriminating documents were following the encounter while the camp which could accommodate 15-20 persons was busted by the security personnel. Some other rebels were suspected to be injured in the operation but managed to flee.

The NSCN-IM rebel group is under truce with the security forces and has been engaged in a peace process since 1997. The rebel group, one of the oldest in the Northeast India, fights for a sovereign Naga nation.

As per the ground rules of ceasefire agreement between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India, the Naga rebels from the NSCN-IM are not allowed to carry weapons and indulge in any criminal activities like extortion, killing, intimidation etc.

Police claimed that NSCN-IM rebels who had set up camp inside forest at Kepelu village, were carrying out extortion in the area of late. They used to demand money from the targets over phone. There were many past instances of NSCN-IM using the territory of Dima Hasao for carrying out extortion.

The NSCN rebels were involved in promoting and arranging training for Dimasa tribe militant groups including the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) in Dima Hasao district in Assam in their strategic interest.

(Shillong Times)