Two suspected NSCN-IM militants were killed while another was injured in an encounter with security forces in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, police said on Tuesday.
Police said that after the gun battle with the Naga outfit members at the Kolagoan village of Tirap on Monday night, one cadre was arrested while a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered.
After secret information that NSCN-IM cadres were gathered in the area, police and Assam Rifles launched a joint operation leading to the fierce encounter.
Villagers, however, alleged that one of those killed was Retto Khako, 51. Arunachal Citizen's Right expressed deep concerns on the killing of the villager.
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah faction also burst out over the incident.
In a statement, the NSCN-IM said that what happened in Tirap district has got on the its nerves after the Nginu killing more than a year ago.
"But this time round, the NSCN is not going to take the things lying down. NSCN have had enough at the hands of the Assam Rifles, and it is now time to say 'enough is enough'. Two NSCN cadres being gunned down deliberately despite knowing that they are not NSCN-K (YA) members is something we cannot forbear any longer," the statement said.
It said that, therefore, a question from NSCN and a decisive answer that should come forth from the Centre is on the status of "the Indo-Naga ceasefire" in Arunachal Pradesh.
"Ridiculous enough, on many occasions, the Assam Rifles has gone too aggressive to get the best of the ceasefire ground rules to suit its devilish design against NSCN which exercised a gentlemanly attitude all the way to honour the ground rules," the statement added.
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