The NSCN (Unification) on Friday expressed displeasure over the controversy arising out of a newlywed couple displaying firearms after their marriage ceremony at 5th Mile here on November 9.
The groom is reportedly the son of GPRN/NSCN kilo kilonser (home minister) Bohoto Kiba.
Dimapur police on November 13 arrested two cadres of the outfit — Ato Sumi and Mughaho — for allowing unauthorised display of firearms by the newlywed couple in contravention to ceasefire ground rules.
The married couple were also arrested but later released on bail.
The outfit in a statement said the social media in Nagaland and print and electronic media in India have taken the news reporting to a “new high” or “rather low”.
It said the groom’s father is a respected Naga leader, who holds a “red category identity card” that entitles him of two weapons for personal safety.
The groom, on his wedding day, after all the guests had left, requested his father’s security guards to let him and his wife click photos with permitted weapons.
They took photos in a private space with few family members around but the photos somehow got forwarded to WhatsApp groups, it said.
“The social media in Nagaland went berserk. The Indian media smelled blood as the viral photo of the newly married couple posing with automatic weapons created a storm. Indian TV channels finally realised there was life in Nagaland!” it said.
The outfit said “a single harmless wedding photo” has been abused and criminalised as though the bride and the groom have “brought down another World Trade Centre or the most elusive dreaded terrorist couple were caught in a wedding dress with assault rifles!”
The GPRN/NSCN asked where were social media warriors, mainland print and electronic media when a huge chunk of Dimapur city was devastated by flood and thousands were rendered homeless recently.
The statement said the GPRN/NSCN in the next few days can also produce thousands of pictures of non-national workers, both men and women ranging from 10 years to 70 years, who have proudly posed with exact or more lethal weapons than the ones used by the bride and the groom.
“Will the authorities go after everyone who have posed with weapons and prosecute them in equal manner, book them and seize the weapons?
“Hundreds of weapons of various shapes and calibres are hand held, clicked and uploaded on social media daily in Nagaland and other parts, how many have been arrested thus far?” asked the outfit.
According to the outfit, the law should not interpret a wedding day photo with guns, “admittedly an error of judgement”, as a crime against Indian state.
It expressed the view that the law must exist to protect citizens and should not demonise and brand spontaneous wedding photos as terrorist acts.