The youths who were taken for recruitment by NSCN (IM).

The NSCN (IM) on Monday said the Naga youths willing to join the Naga national service out of their own conviction does not violate the ceasefire ground rules as they are not being forced by any local authority or the outfit.

The rebel group’s statement came after Army in a press release on Sunday claimed that a covert recruitment racket of NSCN (IM) was busted by the army and Assam Rifles in Mon on November 21.

Defence PRO Lt. Col. Sumit Sharma on Sunday had said two NSCN (IM) cadres– self-styled “corporal” Loajah and self-styled “sgt” Manza were apprehended and 32 youths hailing from Laokkun, Tizit town, Jaboka, Nokzang, Hatothi (Naginimora) and Chingphoi villages were rescued.

They were rescued while being taken to Aopao camp of the outfit for recruitment, he had said.

Also read: NSCN (IM) recruitment bid foiled, 32 youths rescued

The PRO in statement had said the youths revealed that they had been lured by various underground groups on the pretext of providing jobs post Naga solution.

The NSCN (IM) called the defence release a “misplaced statement” against the NSCN, which goes against the historical right and reality as testified in the past many years.

The outfit said Naga people’s zeal to serve the political cause of the Naga nation should not be undermined and contaminated in such a manner.

“The sanctity of the dearest Naga political issue will stand strong to inspire Naga youths, no matter how much effort is put in by the Assam Rifles and Indian Army personnel to give a different colour,” the NSCN (IM) said.

The outfit explained that the passion to serve the Naga nation has been growing steadily and spontaneously among the Naga youths ever since the Naga political movement started more than 70 years ago because the Indo-Naga political issue matters to them.

“It matters to them because it is a question of redefining Nagas’ political identity. It is a question of protecting Nagas’ historical and political right. Thus, it is a question of Nagas’ pride as a nation,” the NSCN (IM) said.

It added that because of this reason, the young people, irrespective of their level of education, continue to be motivated to find their way to NSCN camps and other political groups.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com