Two suspected members of insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) were killed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district in a gunfight with security forces on Sunday, the police said.
District Commissioner Taro Mize, however, said that one of the men killed was not associated to the group.
However, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Chukhu Apa confirmed to Scroll.in on Monday that one of the killed men was a cadre of NSCN (IM) and suggested that the other could also be a member of the armed Naga group.
“Why was he moving with the armed group?” asked Apa. “It will not be wrong to say that he was an overground worker of the group.”
The man was identified as Retto Kakho, according to The Arunachal Times.
Apa told ANI that another person was injured in the gunfight and has been admitted to a hospital in Assam’s Dibrugarh city. He is also a suspected NSCN(IM) operative, he said.
The police officer said the police have seized arms and ammunition from the insurgents.
“The NSCN(IM) insurgents had been carrying out extortion drive and new recruitment in Tirap district since January this year,” he added.
Various student bodies staged a protest against Kakho’s killing. Locals alleged that that the armed group uses civilians as human shields.
On Sunday, the students unions of the district had called for a 12-hour shutdown to protes the killing.
Additional deputy commissioner of Tirap district, K Tikhak, said on Monday that the rallies conducted by the student organisations have been peaceful.
“The rally passed off smoothly and as of now there is no report of any untoward incident from any part of the district,” Tikhak said in a statement. “Executive magistrates have been deployed in every corner to monitor the situation and security in and around the township beefed up.”
Meanwhile, the Tirap district administration has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The report has to be submitted within 15 days.
“The protest was against NSCN (IM) and the protestors shouted ‘NSCN IM Go Back’ and ‘civilians are called to the jungle by NSCN-IM for extortion’ [slogans],” the district commissioner said. “Unfortunately, civilians are used and harassed by NSCN (IM).”