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Dreaded NSCN-K chief Khaplang dead

The death of NSCN (K) Chief, SS Khaplang is bound to have an impact on the cadres of NSCN (K), who will find it difficult to get a leader of his stature to lead the movement. Khaplang was successful in forming United Libration Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) earlier this decade. UNLFW had claimed to have laid ambush in Manipur on 04 June 2015 killing 20 Indian Army soldiers.

Khaplang had forged an understanding with Paresh Baruah who may now attempt to take on the mantle of leadership though he may not find it easy to keep UNLFW united the way Khaplang did.

With passing away of Khaplang and Isak Swu, Naga insurgency may be entering a new phase in its struggle. With the BJP government at the centre as well as in the states with Naga population, the situation may throw up options for resolution of Nagalim. Following is the contents of an article in the Times of India dated 09 Jun 2017:-

Dreaded NSCN-K chief Khaplang dead

Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang collaborated with Thuingelang Muivah to form one of India’s most deadliest militant outfit, the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland, before splitting to form his own faction NSCN (K).

The 78-year-old Hemi Naga tribal of Myanmar was suffering from diabetes for long. Reports say that he had returned from treatment in China a few days back and was heading towards his birthplace, Waktham village near Pangsau Pass village close to the Indo-Myanmar border when he died of a heart attack. An informal source said that Khaplang had returned from Yangon a few days back and died at the Taga camp on Saturday afternoon.

Nagaland director general of police LL Doungel told TOI, “Yes, Khaplang has died. I have been told that he died at Taga in Myanmar, the general headquarters of NSCN (K).”

Nicknamed ‘Baba’, Shangwang was born in April 1940 in Waktham village and is the youngest of 10 children in the family. He set up the Naga Defence Force (NDF), one of the early Naga revolutionary group, in 1964 and became the leader of the Eastern Naga Revolutionary Council (ENRC) four years later. When the Naga National Council (NNC) under Angami Zapu Phizo formed in 1946, sought China’s help, its two senior leaders Isak Chisi Swu and Thuinaleng Muivah came in close contact with Khaplang, who became part of NNC. The trio formed National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) on January 31, 1980 after breaking away from NNC opposing the Shillong Accord signed between NNC and the Indian government. Eight years later Khaplang broke away from NSCN-IM.

Khaplang entered into a ceasefire agreement with centre in 1999 and walked out of it after 14 years on March 27, 2015 and formed the United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia with Praesh Baruah’s ULFA(I) and four Meitei groups.

The Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has condoled the death Khaplang. “The news of the sudden demise has come as a rude shock to the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) at a time when the Naga people are extremely in need of elderly and experienced wisdom of Naga National Movement leaders, to set right the course of the Naga destiny, which are being misinterpreted and re-interpreted in the present day scenario of internal conflicts. We will always treasure and cherish his commitment to do what the upcoming Naga generation wants as the Naga National movement is for the wellbeing of future Naga generation who should live in dignity and peace” Secretary General of NPMHR, Neingulo Krome said in a statement.

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