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Faction of Naga group on recruitment drive post peace accord, Govt. unsure

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By Rupesh Dutta

Prime_Minister_Narendra_Modi_at_the_signing_of_a_historic_peace_accord_between_the_Government_of_India_and_Nationalist_Socialist_Council_of_Nagaland_(NSCN)

New Delhi:  Even as the government is exploring every option to bring the various factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) within the recently inked Naga Peace Accord, the outfit’s strongest group NSCN (Isak-Muivah) is recruiting fresh cadre from parts of eastern Nagaland.

The recruitment drive was started immediately after the Naga accord was signed between the Narendra Modi government and NSCN(IM) on August 3, following nearly 20 years of intense negotiations.

NSCN(IM) secretary for ministry of information and publicity W. Zimik admitted that the recruitment was on, but said it was “completely on a voluntary basis” and that no one would be compelled to join.

“There is one specific place where the recruitment drive is being carried out. It’s completely depending on the areas from which the youth want to join. However, if the parents of the youth do not want them to join, then we are not compelling them,” Zimik told media over phone from Dimapur, in Nagaland.

Although the youth were free to join NSCN(IM), they will not undergo any arms training, Zimik added.

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credits: india.com

The government, though, seems to be unaware of the move by the accord co-signatory. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said he did not have any information about this development.

“I will have to check if this is really happening. I will respond once I get the complete report,” Rijiju told media.

According to sources knowledgeable about the developments, NSCN(IM) was conducting its recruitment drive in its stronghold Tuensang district where the youth were being mobilized to join.

“The fresh recruits are being falsely told that the government has allowed them (NSCN-IM) to carry on the recruitment and that they will be paid salary,” a source told media.

The recruiters were apparently telling the youth that this would be the last batch of recruitment. Although some parents have accepted the faction’s claims, a majority of them were worried as the NSCN(IM) had also said during earlier recruitments that it was “their last recruitment drive”, the source said.

Usually, after a peace accord is inked, militant groups are not allowed to take in new cadres. Instead, the government generally aims to rehabilitate the existing ones. However, experts on the North-Eastern region have said that the situation on the Naga issue might be different as the NSCN(IM) claims itself to be a political group and not a military one.

A ministry of home affairs source had earlier said two army and four paramilitary battalions would be raised to accommodate the existing NSCN(IM) cadres, numbering around 5,000. That may possibly be one reason why the former militant group wants to take in more people.

NSCN(IM) is already supposed to have recruited over 1,000 new cadres from Dimapur, the commercial hub of the state. It has also verbally directed village councils to send youngsters for recruitment.

E.M. Rammohan, former director general of Border Security Force and an expert on the country’s North-Eastern region, said: “The actual devil is in the accord details. Calling the recruitment drive illegitimate as of now won’t be correct because we do not know what is there in the accord.”

He said if there was a clause in the accord that prevents the recruitment of cadre, then the NSCN(IM) “is infringing the norms and inviting trouble. However, in case there is any such clause that makes it possible, which actually should not be the condition, then nothing can be done”, Rammohan said.

He said the government should not have any problem with the recruitment drive, if it’s done as a political step;  but it has to ensure that the recruits are not given any arms training, he cautioned.

(IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)