‘My husband was not a terrorist’



Atono Tsükrü Kense 
Kohima | December 7

“I am hurt. I can’t talk. I will talk to you later,” were the last words Monglong heard from her husband Hokup following her frantic calls and messages on December 4. 

Thirty-year-old Monglong and Hokup were married on November 25, 2021, only ten days before Hokup was killed by the bullets of the 21 Para Special Force based in Assam on the night of December 4, at Oting under Mon district. Her husband, the youngest in his family, was just 37.

Speaking to The Morung Express, Monglong, the young grieving widow of Hokup was inconsolable as she narrated her story—one of a young married couple whose lives and dreams have been shattered by the bullets of ‘protectors,’ before it even started, without even a chance to say goodbye.

My husband was not a terrorist
“I want to let the world know that my husband was neither a terrorist nor a militant,” said Monglong who described her late husband as a simple, humble and God-fearing man.

“If they killed my husband because he was, that is another story, but my husband was not,” she iterated.

She said her husband was very active in church activities and was also the finance secretary of the Church 75th year jubilee committee. 

Hokup was not someone who can hurt anyone, but a cheerful man who was always ready to help the Church and its ministries, and others alike, she narrated. 

How they met
Recalling how she met her husband, Monglong who is from another village, has been staying at Oting village because of her ministry in the Church, and they met through the youth ministry.

“Being from poor economic background, both of us have been saving our earnings and we got married on November 25,” said Monglong.

One sad aspect of their married lives is that they have been living separately even though they were married because of their obligations to their respective works. It was learnt that she has been staying in the Church quarter, while her husband stayed with one of his brothers and went to work in the mines daily.

“We have plans to spend Christmas together since we couldn’t spend much time together after our marriage. We were planning to construct a small house to live together in the coming year, through our savings,” said Monglong sobbing uncontrollably.

“We are not much educated and we are poor, but my husband loved me so much, and despite opposition from my family I decided to settle with him, not caring if we have anything to eat or not because we really cared for each other,” said Monglong who has dedicated her life to Church ministry.

My whole world just shut down
“I feel like my whole life has been snatched away from me, and my whole world just shut down,” said Monlong recalling how her husband’s life has been cut short too soon.

On that night of December 4 after hearing a rumour of a ‘war in her husband’s work place’ Monglong recounted that she frantically placed several calls and messages, all of which went unanswered. 

 “Finally, one of his friends answered my call and said my husband has been shot by the army. But he assured me not to worry and disconnected the phone,” recalled Monglong. This information made her restless and worried, so she called back, but it was unanswered.

Unrelenting, she called again and this time, the call was answered by Hokup’s friend who informed her that they were taking him to the hospital and that he would be alright. Desperate to hear his voice and to confirm he was okay, she requested to speak to her husband. “I am hurt. I can’t talk. I will talk to you later,” Hokup told her and the line went dead.

“I thought he would be alright since he was being taken to the hospital and I said a prayer and went to bed,” said Monglong.

“In the morning our deacons came to my quarter saying we will go for a prayer where my husband lived with his brother and as I came out they started crying,” recalled Monglong. Alarmed by their reaction, she started to question them: “What’s wrong? Has something happened to my husband?”

Their response shattered her world, she said. “I couldn’t believe. I felt numb. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t cry because I could not process and understand what was actually going on around me.”

I leave it to God to judge
On the action of security personnel killing her husband and many other innocent civilians, Monglong said, “we have been fasting and praying for undergrounds, for the army for peace and tranquillity in the society.”

Stating that she was deeply hurt, she said, “I feel I am betrayed by the Army, whom we look upon as our protector. I feel betrayed for the prayers I have said for them.”

But despite the hurt and the uncertain future, Monglong with full of grace and humility said, “it is not upto me to seek any revenge. As a Christian, and a woman committed to Christ’s ministry, I leave it to God to be the ultimate judge as God has told us never to seek revenge.”