Khaplang bats for common NE rebel front

DIMAPUR, Jul 21: The NSCN (K), on the suggestion of its chairman, SS Khaplang, has reiterated the idea of forming a common front of northeast militant groups but has denied having any links with other militant groups of the region or having provided them with shelter in camps based in Myanmar.

Replying to queries on the formation of the front, Wangtin Naga, a senior NSCN (K) leader, said the process is underway “because you see, the entire northeast has been discriminated upon by people of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and other urban cities. Citizens of the northeast have even been beaten up.”

He also alleged that the northeast has been neglected by the Centre and that its people have been discriminated upon.

“If the government of India solves the Naga problem, the entire problem (of the region) will be solved,” he said, adding, “If GoI refuses to solve the Naga problem, the northeast problem will continue to increase and multi- ply.”

Wangtin further claimed that the Maoist insurgency has arisen from the same problem.

Noting how all seven states of the northeast have their own rebel groups, he observed that the entire northeast faces common issues that the people of the region should unite to solve.

Reiterating the NSCN (K)’s stand on sovereignty, Wangtin said, “We still stand for sovereignty as it is Naga issue.”

On interacting with the media following the Ceasefire Supervisory Board meeting at Chumukedima, the NSCN (K) leader on Friday remarked that the outfit cannot approach the Centre to discuss the issues. “It is the Centre who should invite us,” he said, when asked whether his group would initiate talks with the Union government.

“We will not force for a talk. If they invite us, we will agree, but unlike NSCN (IM)’s talk, it will not be an NSCN (K) talk but will be a Naga talk. We will invite all the Naga NGOs, church leaders, tribal Hohos, scholars, as well as other factions,” he said.

When asked to comment on the ongoing discussions between the GoI and the NSCN (IM), the NSCN (K) leader said, “It is almost 16 years and nobody knows what they are talking about… it is an NSCN (IM) talk, not a Naga talk.”

He further said they would not join the discussions initiated by the NSCN (IM) because the NSCN (K) wants to involve all Nagas in making a decision for their future. “Nagas’ talk means the participation by equal number of representatives from all Naga factions, Naga NGOs, church leaders, scholars and tribal Hohos,” he explained.


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