GUWAHATI: An insurgent of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), who took out a peace march carrying the flags of India and “Nagalim”, was allegedly punished by the outfit.
YS Mashungmi, a Tangkhul Naga from Manipur’s Ukhrul district, had taken out a solo foot march from Nagaland’s commercial hub Dimapur to spread the message of peace. However, after he reached the state capital of Kohima a day later, he was intercepted by fellow rebels and taken to their camp in Hebron, some 35 km south-west of Dimapur, and allegedly punished.
Initially, none, including the NSCN-IM, could recognise him as he was wearing a mask. His parents, who live in Manipur, were also not aware of his action.
The NSCN-IM said Mashungmi is its bonafide member.
“Mashungmi…went for the so-called Peace March carrying both the national flags of India and Nagalim without taking the authority into confidence. Such a one-man operation with sensitive political implication is not authorized by NSCN,” the insurgent group said in a statement.
The statement also stated that his “daring venture, no matter how patriotic it may appear in the eyes of the beholder, amounts to violation of disciplinary code of conduct.”
Security implication was also taken into account to abort his peace march midway. He is being debriefed to establish the idea behind his peace march, the statement added.
W Saya, who is the deputy “kilonser” (minister) in the ministry of information and publicity, NSCN-IM, refuted media reports about Mashungmi being punished by the outfit.
“He was not tortured or punished. He is not in custody but in the camp,” Saya told this newspaper on Sunday.
He said there are rules and everyone is under a certain department of the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim or GPRN. Every Naga rebel group runs a parallel government.
“He did it without consulting his superiors. So, he was recalled,” Saya said, adding, “We have not yet decided on punishment but he has been reprimanded. He is a young boy who has been in the organisation for two years. Maybe, no action will be taken against him at all.”
The youth was said to be disturbed over the stalemate in Naga peace talks. The NSCN-IM, which has been in a peace mode since signing a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997, has stuck to its guns on the twin demands of separate Naga flag and Naga constitution. Recently, Nagaland Governor and Centre’s interlocutor in Naga peace talks RN Ravi had asserted: “There is and there shall be only one national flag and constitution in India.”