DIMAPUR, Nov 15 - The Assam Rifles has killed four cadres of the NSCN-Kitovi-Khole (KK) in �an accidental encounter� in Nagaland on Sunday.
According to the Assam Rifles source, on receiving information of movement of a group of NSCN (K) cadres with weapons in the area of Laikunger village (about two km west of Shamatore) in Tuensang district of Nagaland, a patrol of Assam Rifles reached the area in the early hours on Sunday and cordoned off the village.
It said as the patrol approached the community hall inside the village, they were fired upon with automatic assault rifles from inside the community hall complex. According to the source, the Assam Rifles troops fired back in self defence and the fire fight between the two groups continued for almost two and half hours.
The Assam Rifles said that at no stage during the firing did the underground cadres attempt to reveal their identity or surrender to the Assam Rifles. During the entire encounter, Assam Rifles maintained utmost restraint and used minimum force to ensure there was no civilian casualty or collateral damage, the Assam Rifles added.
A statement from the IGAR (North) based in Kohima said that after the firing stopped, a detailed search of the area was carried out which resulted in the recovery of bodies of four underground cadres along with four assault rifles which included one AK-47 assault rifle, one M-16 assault rifle and two .303 assault rifles. The underground cadres were in possession of 101 live bullets of AK-47 rifle, 230 live bullets of M-16 rifle and 29 live bullets of .303 rifle.
The underground cadres were fully prepared for intensive operations. Later in the day, it came to light that these cadres belonged to the NSCN(KK) faction, the statement added.
�There had been many inputs from intelligence agencies in the past week regarding movement of NSCN(K) cadres from Myanmar across the Indo-Myanmar border in the districts of Mon, Tuensang, Zunheboto, Kiphire and Phek.�
�The NSCN(K) cadres had entered Nagaland to carry out subversive actions against the security forces as well as to collect extortion money from various agencies like TTK Services (Dimapur), Airtel Telecom (Dimapur, Kohima, Zunheboto etc), contractors, businessmen, annual tax from State Teachers Association (Zunheboto), annual house tax from villages etc.�
�There were also reports of movement of cadres of NSCN(IM), NSCN(KK) and NSCN(R) in these areas for collection of similar taxes," the IGAR(N) statement said.
It then said that the security forces had anticipated difficulties in identification of the underground cadres from various factions while operating at night in the jungles. Office of Chairman Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG)/ Cease Fire Supervisory Board (CFSB) had been approached to inform all the underground factions having Cease Fire with the Government not to venture out with weapons, specifically in the districts of Tuensang, Kiphire and Phek to prevent any accidental encounter with security forces.
According to the IGARN, the factions had been conveyed through the office of Chairman CFMG/CFSB that if any movement has to take place with weapons then the same should be informed to the nearest Assam Rifles post commander. Office of Chairman CFMG/CFSB had confirmed to the office of Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) that necessary instructions had been conveyed to the various underground factions. Movement of underground cadres with weapons outside their Designated Camps is a serious violation of the Cease Fire Ground Rules which is known to every underground faction, it added.
�Despite being warned about likely accidental engagements, a heavily armed group of NSCN(KK) cadres was operating in the area of Shamatore without intimating the security forces, and specifically without informing the nearest Assam Rifles post at Shamatore. The movement of this group was in clear violation of the Cease Fire Ground Rules as well as non-adherence of cautionary message conveyed by the Assam Rifles and the office of Chairman CFMG/CFSB,� the statement said.