Nagaland Post/ Morung Express/ Eastern Mirror
for kind publication please.
MESSAGE ON THE 1ST NAP RAISING DAY.
My dear Comrades of the 1st Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) BN
Despite of the fact that in re-counting the forgotten days, one is bound to dwell yet once again into those past and forgotten days, thus causing tears of happiness for some, and an equal amount of tears or remorse for the others. The history of the Nagas, especially from the early 1950’s was pathetic, horrible and full of remorse, insecurity, antagonistic and alienation. Remembering those days make us cry and sad.
Nevertheless, on this auspicious occasion when the 1st NAP was formed, I would like to take the privilege inciting few impetus reasons leading to its formation on this day of the year 1964.
Before the advent of A.Z Phizo with the message of ‘Sovereignty’, ‘freedom from foreign rule’, ‘emancipation from dictatorial law’ etc the people of free Nagaland (Eastern Nagaland) was one of peace, prosperity, comforts, abundance and naïve. The land was full of merry-making, hosting of the feast of merit, head hunting among various villages and the whole spheres of lives governed by the rules of customs and traditions. The only enemies were the belligerent villages, intruders, unsolicited visitors and the passer-bys. The idea of sovereignty, illegal foreign domination by the ‘Indians’, etc were strange and enigmatic words for the Free People. In the later days, people of the virgin land dimly learnt the name ‘Assam’ from where they bartered salts, metals etc or had their chattels exchanges for the like goods. But, after the entry of A.Z Phizo, their mind-set, day-to-day activities and mode of living had tremendously changed so completely and instantly.
As per the pledge and commitment given to A.Z Phizo by the Free Nagas to free the rest of the Nagas from the cruel grip of adversaries, the first blood for the Naga National cause was shed at Huker Village of the Yimchungro tribe at around 6:30 pm on 24th March 1955. This incident marked the beginning of the offensive act by the Nagas for the cause of the Naga Nation. Hitherto, there seem to be only a defensive role resistance on the part of the Nagas. The Indian Army stationing at Aghunato had the habit of frequently visiting Huker village since the two places are not so far from each other. On the fateful evening of 24th March 1955, a total of four Indian Army Jawans were slain by the machetes by the Yimchunger nationalists who composed the Naga Army Wing known as Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) led by Lakhum Yimchunger, Hopong Angh Yinchunger and Brig. Gen. Thsamphu Yimchunger etc. In despair retaliation, the Indian Army shot dead four persons. The one among the first victims of war was a student of 2 class 6 by the name Bumbah and the three other victims were Shokheah, Pungji and Khumkiumong.
However, to the dismay of the Home Guard Eastern Division, regrettably, the other groups of the Eastern General Command did not join the battle contrary to what has been actually agreed upon. After the fateful day of March 24, 1955, the barbaric operation of the Indian Army had intensified in almost all the Yimchunger villages. Most of the villages were burnt down repeatedly to as many as twelve times and so forth. Granaries were razed down and the entire villages became empty with no standing houses, livestock and no appearance of human beings except the movements of thousands of Indian soldiers and few captivated villagers and Yimchunger Naga Nationalists. This volatile situation had necessitated the innocent villagers to hide beneath the dense forests. There was not a single day passed without the news of torturing, butchering and other atrocity acts carried out by the Indian armies. Thousands and thousands of innocent people perished due to extreme cold, starvation, mental trauma and related other unnatural death. In short, there was no human relationship but even worse than ‘hunter-prey’ relationship.
The situation of uncertainty propelled the Yimchunger Naga Nationalist to establish numerous camps with their headquarter (Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN)) at present Longtok village erstwhile known as Haphu village under the ablest and charismatic command of Gen. Hothrong Yimchunger. The several attempts of the Indian armies to intrude and destroy the Headquarter camp were never successful. Therefore, they choose Kuthur village as a strategic place to bombard the Haphu headquarter camp. As many as nine cannon/ artilleries was fixed at Kuthur village and bombarded the headquarter camp with more than thirty cannon shells. This kind of inhuman battle had to be faced by the Yimchunger Naga Nationalists based at the Headquarter camp for several years. All the Indian Army division deployed in Nagaland seemed to have been concentrated at the Headquarter camp.
The Home Guard Eastern Division toured beyond the Tuensang jurisdiction to other parts of Nagaland to fight the battle against the Indian armies at the place like Bandhari, Bokajan, Pherima, Sanakusa, Sannis, Sataka, Kukheyei and so forth. Not only had they traveled far and wide in the battle but also gave away the arms and ammunition and rucksack of money being recovered or snatched from the Indian armies to Aos, Sumis, Sangtams, Changs, Khiamniungans, Konyaks etc, so that they could also maintain their own standing army effectively.
At the first battle broke out in Yimchunger area, the civilians were inflicted with the maximum injury that bore major repercussion of the battle. However, the gradual paradigm shift appeared on the scene in the early 1960s. The crescendo of outcry of the innocent civilian, who were at the receiving end, reached the climax. Intra-divisional confusion within the political organization also sprouted out with the assassination of Mutezu_ and Gen. Hothrong Yimchunger. Moreover, inter-tribal crisis over the chase for leadership had added fuel to the already ignited fire. On the one side, the Indian army’s heavy operation and on the other, there was mistrust and misunderstanding among the leaders in the tussle for leadership. The unbecoming development disheartened the most dedicated Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN).
Meanwhile, on the spur of the moment, the all time call of the Indian government to join the mainstream was accentuated loud and clear at the backdrop of the creation of Nagaland state. Thereupon, considering all the factors of mistrust, uncertainty, crisis of leadership and most importantly the extreme hardship and the suffering of the innocent rustic civilians, a majority group of rifted Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) decided to save the people of Nagaland taking advantage upon the call of the Indian Government.
However, the absence of competent qualified leaders amidst the aspiring group was the greatest obstruction on their way and thus created a vast chasm. Just at the neck of time, my name crossed their mind as most qualified and experienced prominent personality among the Yimchungers. Hence, I was arrested in 1962 by the Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) and conferred the rank of Brigadier and thereby caste the burden of negotiation with the Indian Government. During that time, I was on preparatory leave after being selected in an interview for the post of the Yimchunger Language Translator and was to join thereof in a day or two. I conceded my destiny and ultimately chose to bear the brunt of loathsome humiliation by the Indians so that the happiness and peace of the Nagas may be restored from the voraciously ever torturing despotic hand of the Indian army. At the peak of negotiation; the then Chief Minister of Nagaland, Shri P. Shilu Ao, asked me to lay down our demand. Hence, I expressed the unanimous desire of my group to establish the Special Nagaland Armed Police (SNAP). The then Hon’ble Chief Minister readily accepted and approved our demand and also assured us that we would retain the same rank and files as of the UGs in the newly established SNAP, inter-alia assured various other mammoth privileges and amenities. Thereafter, on the epoch-making day, the Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) comprising of one hundred thirteen (113) UGs personnel surrendered with the government of India with huge quantity of arms and ammunition in the presence of Mr. Dev, the then ADC Zunheboto and Mr. Imkongmar Aier, the then EAC of Aghunato as witness and consequently affected in giving birth to the 1st NAP Battalion (SNAP) in Nagaland. It is pertinent to mention here that prior to SNAP there was no Nagaland Armed Police in extant.
Thus the initial strength of the battalion was constituted out of a batch of one hundred and thirteen UGs of Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) led by me. In due course of time, the government converted the then VG personnel of Kohima and
Nagaland. The volunteers of the UGs personnel of Kohima District were also enrolled in the battalion.
This write-up is never intended to be glutted with the salvo of hostile and antagonistic attitude towards any person, organization or the Government of Nagaland of India. But, it is just an account of what is affirmed to be the true story towards formation of the 1st NAP Bn.
No Naga sons, whether over ground or underground would ever think to sell out the Rights of self-determination effacing the priceless legacy of our political aspiration for Independence. However, to propagate the idea and ideal of self-determination and political aspiration, a Nation is a must wherein the people is the indispensable components and in the absence of which the end is meaningless. The Home Guard Eastern Division (FGN) exactly contemplated on the priorities of the time, on the eve of the formation of the SNAP and decided to redeem the mass first from complete annihilation from the devouring hands of the Indian army upon whom (Survival) and their posterities the political ideology could be planted.
Since my intention and my comrades were neither for the comforts, profits, ranks and nor for the prestige, we ran for months and years bare footed, walking up the dense forest of Nichugard (Chumukedima) to cut, clear and construct camps of the battalion. Our intention and initiative was purely yeoman and philanthropic, therefore we did not receive any benefits or amenities either from the State Government or from the Indian Government hitherto. We also didn’t demand for any forms of prestige or honour in lieu of our contribution and sacrifices and never claimed for any high profile post in the newly Battalion but worked under it with a low and humble rank.
Many of our comrades of the Home Guard Eastern Division are working with the same undeterred spirit for the Naga cause and to whom I salute with the highest honour.
In conclusion, I have decided to linger on this lengthy background because this is the first time when the formation of 1st NAP Bn is related in order to make it more presentable with a better insight and right earnest.
Long Live! 1st Nagaland Armed Police Bn.
(K.M CAMING YIMCHUNGER)
The Hon’ble Minister for Home Affairs, GoI, New Delhi for information.
The Hon’b.e Minister for Defence, GoI, New Delhi for information.
The Hon’ble Minister, Govt. of Nagaland, Kohima for information.
The Hon’ble Parliamentary Secretary/ MLA 58th A/C for information.
The Hon’ble Parliamentary Secretary/ MLA 60th A/C for information.
The President ENPO/ YTC/ ENSF/ YAA for information.