Itanagar, Feb 12: The NSCN (K) today denied its involvement in kidnapping 39 boys from Arunachal's Tirap district and said it is an ongoing recruitment drive of the organization in the state.
"It is a normal recruitment process we are conducting every year and as per our norms we recruit one able youth for every ten houses," Convener, Council of Kilonser of the outfit Mr A Z Jami told to the sources over phone. Since Cease fire is not extended to Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian government has no say on the recruitment drive of the organization, he added.
He said the youths have joined the outfit on their own will and there was no question of kidnapping. However, he said, a few of the youths were sent back after finding them unfit to serve the organization. It might be mentioned here that the Arunachal Pradesh government has accused the NSCN (K) of forcibly taking away the youths from Tirap district during January this year and inducting them into the organization and giving them arms training at their base in Myanmar.
Altogether 39 youths were reportedly kidnapped by the outfit during January and forcibly recruited. All the youths were either students or unemployed locals. The matter had generated lot of heat in the state with Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu pleading Centre to intervene in the development.
Even the All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU) had accused the NSCN(K) of abducting the youths, while several organizations in Tirap staged protest over the matter and launched a mass rally on Sunday.
All Tirap Students' Union (ATSU) in a statement stated that forceful activities like kidnapping might lead to misunderstanding among Nagas. The union declared, "We are Arunachalee Nagas and not Nagas of Nagaland. We are integral part of Arunachal." The union further expressed shock at the failure of the state government to provide security to the people of the district and supported the ten point ultimatum served to the state government by AAPSU for early release of the abducted youths.
Meanwhile, according to police sources here, 28 youths were still under captivity of the outfit in the jungles of Myanmar. The outfit had served demand notices to 13 villages under Longding, Pumao and Panchaw circles for recruitment of 227 youths, sources alleged.