The Naga Hoho on Monday appealed to the United Nations to intervene against the alleged violations of human rights in Naga areas in the Northeast region of India and northwestern part of Myanmar amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to UN secretary general António Guterres, Hoho president H.K. Zhimomi and general secretary K. Elu Ndang also urged him to recognise the Nagas as indigenous people under the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.
The letter appreciated Guterres for his “timely appeal” for immediate global ceasefire in all armed conflict areas across the world.
The Hoho said it was greatly encouraged by his call to put armed conflicts under lockdown and focus together on the true fight against the Covid-19 pandemic with solidarity, unity and hope.
Expressing grave concern over the alleged rapid deterioration of the security situation in Naga inhabited areas in the Northeast region of India and northwestern part of Myanmar; it requested the United Nations to intervene to prevent the violation of ceasefire between the Naga armies and the Indian state.
The Hoho alleged that the Indian armed forces are indulging in most provocative, willful, premeditated and systematic operations against the NSCM (I-M) and other Naga armed groups in the Northeast region of India and Myanmar with utter disregard to the enforced ceasefire ground rules.
The Hoho urged the UN secretary general to direct the government of India to stop its “military operations” and settle the Naga political issue by honouring the framework agreement of August 3, 2015 for an honourable and acceptable political solution.
It also said several joint military operations by the security forces of India and Myanmar are being carried out in the northwestern parts of Naga self-administered zone in Sagaing region of Myanmar bordering India.
“The innocent Naga villagers are living in constant fear and trauma due to war-like situations created by the joint military operations and the covid-19 pandemic,” the letter said.
It added that tension is growing due to deployment of large number of armed security personnel in many of the Naga villages in border districts of India and Myanmar.
The Hoho alleged that the Unified Command of Manipur, consisting of the Assam Rifles, Manipur police and Indian Reserve Battalions, are moving in full combat gears to raid the camps and hideouts of the Naga armies in the border villages.
It said the women Covid-19 vigilantes intercepted and stopped many of these combined forces braving cold weather and incessant rain at the risk of their lives and security as no social distancing can be maintained in such confrontations.
The Hoho said the massive deployment of armed security forces who are often camping at the jhum fields has denied the indigenous Naga people living in the border areas the right to livelihood.
“The innocent Naga villagers are now going through the most harrowing time as they fear the spread of Covid-19 pandemic on the one hand and on the other they are harassed, tortured and traumatized by the war-like situations created by the security forces on the pretext of operation against the NSCN,” it added.