New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) In what could be a setback for the Naga peace accord, some cadres of NSCN-Reformation (NSCN-R) – a faction which is part of the ceasefire accord – have decided to rejoin the NSCN-Khaplang alleging that the Indian government and other Naga signatories to the pact were “playing dirty politics” by targeting them.
A senior member of NSCN-R – which is a breakaway faction of the banned NSCN-K – allleged that their cadres were being continuously apprehended by the paramilitary Assam Rifles on “false charges of drugs trafficking and extortion”.
A senior member of the NSCN-R said its cadres are also being nabbed by the NSCN-IM and NSCN-Unification — which run a parallel Government in Nagaland – on cooked-up charges drug trafficking and extortion.
“Due to the continuous torture and assault at the hands of security forces and NSCN(Isak-Muivah) and NSCN(Unification), some of our cadres have decided to cross the border (into Myanmar) and again join Khaplang. Though we are trying to prevent it, but if it happens due to the bias against us, we cannot be blamed,” the member, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.
Sources have also confirmed to IANS that the top brass of the NSCN-Khaplang have welcomed the move, calling it a “reunion”.
The NSCN-K is a banned organsiation and has faced concerted action by the security forces after ambushing an Indian Army convoy in June.
The National Investigation Agency has declared a reward of Rs.17 lakh for information about its top two leaders.
The Naga peace accord was signed by National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) and the Narendra Modi government in August.
Media reports say over 50 NSCN-Reformation cadres have been apprehended since the the Naga peace accord was signed. These reports said that 12 members each were apprehended in Manipur and Nagaland and six were apprehended in Arunachal Pradesh by the Assam Rifles. The reports said that the security forces killed one member in Nagaland last month.
Other NSCN factions such as the NSCN-IM and NSCN-U, who are part of the ceasefire, have also caught cadres of the NSCN-Reformation, an indication of the lack of unity among the Naga groups over the peace pact.
“The Naga issue in itself is so complicated and confusing…. The current attitude of some of the factions and the government is so negative that it hurts the community and the cadres of the Naga groups. If we, after signing the accord, start confronting the security forces then we will be told that it is a violation of the accord, but what about our cadres being apprehended without any reason.. who will answer,” the senior NSCN-R member asked.
“Because of the current attitude, a lot of cadres are of the opinion that we were better off with the NSCN-Khaplang,” he added.
The member, who worked with the NSCN-Khaplang for many years before joining the NSCN-Reformation, said that security forces can retaliate only if there is violence against them.
“Our boys are trying their best not to confront either the security forces or other factions of NSCN but, why are we being confronted…. why are our cadres being killed and apprehended? In such a situation, if our cadres go back and join NSCN-Khaplang, we should not be questioned,” the member.
The NSCN-Reformation was the first faction of the NSCN to publicly extend support to the Naga peace accord, after it’s chief, Wangtin Naga, general secretary P. Tikhak and senior leader Imlong Chang, among others, met the central government’s Naga peace interlocutor, R.N. Ravi.
No other faction of NSCN had till then extended support to the peace talks. There have been reports that some of the factions have now sought a separate solution for the Nagas.
The NSCN-Reformation, formed earlier this year, is believed to have 2,500 cadres.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)