Arunachal legislators oppose proposed army operations

Itanagar: The ministers and legislators of troubled Tirap and Changlang districts in Arunachal Pradesh have opposed the proposed move of the union Home ministry to launch a full-scale army operation against the NSCN outfits operating in the area.

Citing news reports of both the districts, Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Honchun Ngandam along with legislators Wangki Lowang, Phosum Khimhun and Thangwang Wangham in a letter to Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin urged him to intervene in the matter. The legislators in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the Press today, urged Gamlin and all cabinet ministers to stall such a move saying that Army operations would bring hardship to the people of these districts.

The legislators expressed disapproval of the alleged plan, saying ?past experience had proved the futility of such exercise. The districts have reported factional clashes, killing, kidnapping and extortion. The Centre recently extended the ?disturbed areas? notification under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, for Tirap and Changlang for another six months.

The NSCN (K) has been active in Changlang region for a long time and has steadily increased its power. The NSCN (I-M) has been a ?competitor? for the Khaplang group here. The NSCN (I-M) includes the two districts in its map of ?Nagalim?, which is the integrated Naga homeland.