Our silence and forbearance in the face of ethnic conflict should not be misconstrued as weakness: PNTM condemns firing and assault

BY | Monday, 19 February, 2024

The Poumai Naga Tsiidoumai Me (PNTM) has condemned the callous firing in Phyapou village and physical assault against its Naga brothers, incidents which occurred both on February 16. It labeled the incidents as an “inhumane act wrongly intended to provoke the peace loving Naga people”.

According to a press release issued by the PNTM on February 18, automatic weapons were callously fired towards Phyapou (Naga Village) from J Songtung Kuki Village on February 16. “While, thankfully,no casualties were reported, the malevolent intentions behind such an act cannot be overstated. We vehemently question the motives of those responsible and sternly warn against any further attempts to incite discord among our peace-loving Naga brethren,” stated the PNTM.

The organization also condemned the heinous physical assault perpetrated against Naga truck drivers, handymen, and their associates, namely, Th Paul, Pavei Ng, M Hrapu, A Payio, and Sanjay Khadka, on the same night of February 16 at Sekmai. “The forceful looting at gunpoint only serves as a stark reminder of the depravity and intended provocation,” mentioned the PNTM.

Expressing zero tolerance towards such acts, the organization refused to remain silent in the face of such egregious transgressions. “These drivers and handymen, who tirelessly brave the perils of the road to supply essential commodities to our state, deserve our utmost respect and protection, especially amidst the ongoing ethnic tensions between the Meiteis and Kuki-Zo,” stated the Organization.

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To the perpetrators and armed miscreants responsible, the PNTM sternly warned, “Our silence and forbearance in the face of ethnic conflict should not be misconstrued as weakness. We call upon both the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities to cease terrorizing the Nagas, whether through highway checkpoints, frisking or coercive donation-seeking tactics or imposed taxations.”

The PNTM further implored the authorities to swiftly apprehend the culprits involved. Failure to do so will only exacerbate the already volatile situation, and any ensuing unrest shall not be borne responsible, warned the PNTM.

“The Poumai Naga youths and students stand united together with the rest of the Naga Community in our commitment to peace and justice. We beseech all stakeholders to heed our call for restraint and mutual respect, lest we be compelled to take matters into our own hands,” urged the PNTM.

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