GUWAHATI: The division in the SS Khaplang faction of the insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) on the lines of nationality is out in the open.
A month after its chief Khango Konyak was “impeached” by Myanmarese Naga rebels, the outfit’s spokesman Isak Sumi asserted that Konyak was still the “legitimate chairman and president”. Both Sumi and Konyak are Indian Nagas.
Sumi said a “handful of kilonsers (ministers), deputy kilonsers and middle-ranking Naga Army officers, belonging to Pangmi Naga tribe, were behind the “failed coup” against Konyak and they were instigated by some Manipuri extremist groups and the Paresh Baruah faction of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
A few years ago, several extremist groups from the Northeast, led by the NSCN-K, had formed a united front. They operate out of the soil of Myanmar where they have their camps.
Sumi said Konyak’s impeachment was an arbitrary decision taken without the approval of majority members of the outfit’s central council. He said not a single Indian Naga NSCN-K leader was consulted or involved in the process. As such, the impeachment was “unconstitutional, illegal, and invalid”, he said.
Describing the Pangmi Naga rebels in the NSCN-K as “renegades”, Sumi alleged that they had forcibly attempted to seize power to be able to enter the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Myanmar and become “full-fledged” citizens of the country.
He also alleged that it was due to the conspiracy of the Pangmi leaders that the Myanmar Army had launched an all-out offensive to assassinate Konyak.
Meanwhile, there were reports doing the rounds that Konyak and the Indian Nagas in the NSCN-K would form a breakaway faction and join the Centre’s ongoing peace process with various Naga rebel groups, including NSCN’s Isak-Muivah faction, widely known as NSCN-IM. The talks with the NSCN-IM have been going on for 21 years but solution continues to elude both sides.
The NSCN-K was in a ceasefire with the Centre for 14 years until abrogating it unilaterally in 2015. Subsequently, the Centre had banned the organisation.