NSCN-K leader Khaplang passes away in Myanmar's Kachin
Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang, commander-in-chief of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland, Khaplang faction (NSCN-K) who changed the face of insurgency in the North East, died in the hospital in Burma due to a cardiac arrest. He took his last breath at 8.05 pm.
He was also the president of the Government of the People's Republic of Nagalim (GPRN), run by the group in Nagaland, parts of Arunachal Pradesh. He was the person who has opposed an ongoing peace talks with India passed away in Myanmar's Kachin on Friday.
Shangyung Khaplang controlled the insurgency over a vast tract territory also known as mud and bamboo thatched hut in Taga.
He gave Indian Government several sleepless night, he was the mastermind behind the formation of an united platform of Northeast rebel groups - United National Liberation Front of Western South Asia (UNLFWSA) - that has carried our several attacks on security forces in northeast in past few years.
His deputy in NSCN (K) - Khango Konyak will replace his as the new chairman, sources within NSCN(K) added.
The NSCN came into existence after the Shillong accord was signed in 1975, accepting the supremecy of Indian Constitution. Khaplang, along with T Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu, had formed the NSCN in 1980 but broke ranks with the latter in 1988 to create his own faction, NSCN (K).
Headquartered in the hills of Taga, Myanmar, NSCN (K) was responsible for several attacks since on Indian security forces since abrogation of ceasefire violation in 2015.
Since 1980s, the outfit has engaged in subversive activities, including attacks on security forces, extortion and looting.
The NSCN-K was involved in the killing of 18 Army soldiers in an ambush in Manipur on June 4, 2015.
Following the Manipur ambush in 2015, the Indian Army carried out cross-border raids on NSCN-K camps located inside Myanmar killing several militants.
The ambush on the Army convoy was carried out by the group despite it being involved in peace negotiations with an interlocutor of the central government.
Subsequently, the government has snapped the dialogue and in September 2015, the NSCN-K was declared as an unlawful organisation for five years.
Born in April 1940 in Waktham village, east of Myanmar's Pangsau Pass, Khaplang joined the Naga nationalist movement as early as 1964 and was one of the key people in the formation of the NSCN.
However, Khaplang split and formed his own group NSCN(K) in 1988.
He formed the group following differences with the NSCN (IM) leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. Swu died in June 2016 in a Delhi hospital.
Khaplang also entered into a ceasefire with the central government in 1997 but abrogated it on March 28, 2015.
Meanwhile, Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) Secretary General Neingulo Krome said the news of Khaplang's sudden demise has come as a "rude shock".
This was so especially at a time when the Naga people are extremely in need of elderly and experienced wisdom of their national movement leaders, to set right the course of the Naga destiny, which is being misinterpreted and re-interpreted in the present day scenario of internal conflicts, he said.
"We will always treasure and cherish his commitment to do what the upcoming Naga generation wants as the Naga national movement is for the well being of future Naga generation who should live in dignity and peace," he said in his condolence message.
There was no immediate reaction from the rebel group or key tribal bodies including Naga Hoho and Naga Mothers' Association.
(With PTI Input)