Assam Rifles
Assam Rifles personnel (File image).

The raid at the residence of Nagaland’s former footballer Roko Angami by Assam Rifles (AR) has sparked massive reactions in Kohima.

Troops of AR raided the house of Roko at Kohima in the early hours on Friday.

Roko is the former president of Nagaland Football Coaches’ Association (NFCA).

The Angami Youth Organisation (AYO), the apex youth body of the Angami Naga tribe, condemned the “blatant and irresponsible action” of the AR who allegedly “broke into the private residence” of Roko.

“Through this act, their niche for troublemaking has yet again been displayed in full, and is left for the public to judge,” AYO president Kekhrie Pfukha and general secretary Petevituo Nakhro said in a statement.

AYO said Roko from Zhadima village is a “respected, honest and law-abiding member of the Angami community” who has represented the community and the Nagas as a professional footballer at the international level.

“Besides promoting football, Mr. Roko has been actively serving the society through various capacities,” it said.

“This appalling act upon a leader of the community has no place in the present day and even controvert the much-acclaimed slogan of the Assam Rifles – Friends of the hill people,” it said.

The association said it will not remain a mute spectator to the “insidious behavior of the paramilitary forces”.

The group said that the blatant actions of AR has only reminded the Nagas of the years of tortures, rapes and killings inflicted upon the Naga people by the Indian armed forces.

“This particular incident has only deepened the chasm of mistrust and animosity between the Naga people and the Indian armed forces,” it said.

Zhadima Village Council also condemned the “callous attitude and despicable action” of the AR who conducted the raid.

Besides being the president of NFCA and NAYO, the village council said Roko is also serving as the current Village Development Board (VDB) Secretary of Zhadima Village.

“This raid has not only created animosity between the Assam rifles and the Village Community but has set a bad precedence and a suspicious trend among the peace-loving community,” it added.

The Northern Angami Youth and Sports Association ‘C’ (NAYSA-C) also condemned the raid at the house of a “sports icon”. Displeased by the act, it said that the AR should not become “Enemy of the hill people”.

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