NSCN (I-M) leaders camping along India-Myanmar border area: report

GUWAHATI, NOV 21 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/21/2019 10:54:01 AM IST

At a time when talks between the Centre and Naga groups have reportedly reached the final stage, some top commanders of the NSCN (I-M) faction are said to be camping along the India-Myanmar border area.

According to News18 report, Phungting Shimrang, former army chief and senior member of the NSCN (I-M), has reportedly gone to Yunan province in China with two of his trusted comrades.

A leader of the Yung Aung-led NSCN (K) faction told News18, “Phungting and his two comrades reached China via eastern Nagaland (Naga self-administered areas in Myanmar) in the second half of October. The three leaders are trying to talk to the Chinese authorities for aid in their fight against India.”

“NSCN (I-M) (army chief) Anthony Shimray has also left the outfit’s headquarters camp in Hebron and is staying in an undisclosed location along the India-Myanmar border,” the leader added.

ULFA(Independent) chief Paresh Baruah told News18 over the phone, from an undisclosed location, that “Phungting Shimrang will not return to Camp Hebron along with his comrades. They have realised that GoI is not ready to give more power to the Nagas, especially as far as the flag and constitution are concerned. Hence, they are ready to fight again.” 

“We are closely monitoring the movement and strategy of the IM leadership, which is camping cross border,” said a top commander of the NSCN-K faction. Baruah said, “Nowadays, the situation and atmosphere have changed. The young leadership of the Isak-Muivah and Khaplang factions of the NSCN are trying to reach an understanding...”

Former director general (Special Branch) of Assam Police, Pallab Bhattacharyya, said, “China will take advantage of these anti-Indian groups. It cannot directly start a war against India, but their agencies are always trying to create problems in the North East through the NSCN, ULFA and Manipuri insurgent groups. Basically, China uses these outfits to wage a proxy war against India.”

He, however, added the situation has changed considerably and the young generation does not want a warlike situation to prevail in Nagaland. They want development in their areas and the government is working on it, Bhattacharyya said.

The final talks between the Centre and Nagas is likely to stretch further as the modalities of the agreement are yet to be finalised. As reported earlier, the much-awaited solution to the decades-old problem may not fructify before Christmas.

Though the exact terms and conditions of the agreement have not been disclosed by either of the parties, sources said one of the key demands of the Naga groups is grant of autonomy to the Nagas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Centre on Tuesday said the governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will be duly consulted before the final settlement of the decades-old Naga insurgency problem.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told the Lok Sabha that there has been considerable progress in the ongoing Naga peace talks and almost all the Naga underground groups are engaging with the Central government in the process.

“All stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, will be duly consulted before any settlement is arrived at with the Naga groups and their concerns taken into consideration,” he said in replying to a written question in the House.

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