2nd Aug 2017 09:08:PM State
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The Quint,

Taking advantage of the NSCN(K)’s waning influence over three Arunachal Pradesh districts following the death of its chairman SS Khaplang, its rival Naga insurgent outfit, the NSCN(Isak-Muivah) has rushed in to “dominate areas hitherto occupied” by the former and has taken to widespread “intimidation and extortion”.

According to Home Ministry documents (of May 2017) in the possession of The Quint, a review of the law and order situation in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and in areas within the jurisdiction of 16 police stations or outposts bordering Assam has thrown up an alarming scenario, which has been “vitiated by the spillover of the Naga insurgency”.

Centre Worried by the Activities of NSCN(IM)

While four Naga insurgent outfits, the NSCN(K), NSCN(IM), NSCN(Reformation) and NSCN(Kitovi-Neopao-Konyak), “continue to indulge in extortion, area domination, recruitment of locals and inter-factional rivalry”, the activities of the NSCN(IM), led by General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah” – with whom the Narendra Modi government signed a “framework agreement” for settling the Naga issue in August 2015 – have the Centre worried. NSCN(R) came into being after it split from the NSCN(K) in April 2015.

The deterioration in the law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh forced the Centre, on 4 November 2016, to declare Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts and areas in the jurisdiction of 13 police station and outposts, “disturbed areas” under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.

These “disturbed areas” in Arunachal Pradesh include Banderdewa, Doimukh, Balijan and Kimin police stations in Papumpare district, Lokabali in West Siangdistrict, Ruksin, Nari and Oyan in East Siang, Roing in Lower Dibang Valley, Seijosa in East Kameng, Bhalukpong and Balemu in West Kameng, Namsai and Mahadevpur in Namsai district, Sunpura in Lohit distrioct and Dulung Mukh in Lower Subansiri district.

Centre unnerved by NSCN(IM) activities

Recent report by Home Ministry reveals deterioration in law and order in three Arunachal districts

With NSCN(IM) rushing in to dominate areas, recent activities of the Naga insurgent outfit are a cause of worry for the Centre

NSCN(K), NSCN(IM), NSCN(Reformation) and NSCN(Kitovi-Neopao-Konyak) continue to indulge in extortion and area domination

Centre forced to declare Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts as “disturbed areas” on 4 November 2016

MHA mentions NDFB(Songbjit) and NDFB(Ranjan Daimari) among outfits using three districts and Arunachal-Assam border zone as ‘transit corridor’

Expansion of NSCN(IM)

A recent Home Ministry note accessed by The Quint clearly reveals that besides the Naga insurgent outfits, the Ulfa(Independent), led by “Commander-in-Chief” Paresh Barua, NDFB(Songbijit) and NDFB(Ranjan Daimari) frequently use the three districts and the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border zone as a “transit corridor” for movement of armed cadres and transhipment of arms from Myanmar or via Mon district in Nagaland.

The corridor also helps the insurgent outfits to “escape” counter-insurgency operations by security forces.

What has alarmed Home Ministry officials is the “expansion” of the NSCN(IM) into Arunachal Pradesh even as the Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi continues to hold seemingly interminable talks with the insurgent outfit, following the signing of the framework agreement, whose details both the government and Naga group have been loath to disclose publicly. Following consultations with NSCN(IM) leaders, including Muivah and Naga civil society, Ravi had said in July that a “solution” to the vexed Naga issue was “close”.

Arunachal Pradesh, according to MHA sources, experienced a spike in violent insurgency-related activities (50) in 2016 compared to 36 in 2015, primarily on account of violence perpetrated by the NSCN(K). The security forces and the police recorded 25 abduction cases in 2016. But since Khaplang’s death, NSCN(K) cadres are reported to have “thinned out”, with most moving across to several camps in Myanmar’s Sagaing division.

Demand for ‘Greater Nagaland’

While the partial withdrawal of NSCN(K) cadres into Myanmar has given the NSCN(IM) the opportunity to “fill in the space” in Arunachal Pradesh, the emerging situation is a cause for worry for the Centre, which would have to address the controversial issue of “Greater Nagaland” – a central demand of the Muivah-led outfit in its peace dialogue with the government.

The Nagas’ conception of “Greater Nagaland” includes not just the entirety of Nagaland but also Manipur’s Naga-inhabited hill districts, areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam (Karbi Anglong and North Cachar) and parts of Myanmar.

A Parallel Administration

About month before Khaplang’s death, the result of prolonged illness, Muivah had said that the “framework agreement will give Nagas maximum sovereign power to grow into a developed political people and will also strengthen the security of India”, besides adding that the pact “recognises the unique history, identity, sovereignty and territories of the Nagas”.

In fact, a statement issued in May this year by the so-called Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN), the NSCN(IM)’s “parallel administration” run from its headquarters in Hebron near Dimapur, had claimed that the framework agreement with the central government recognised the “legitimate right of the Nagas to integration of all Naga territories”.

The Centre promptly clarified, saying that no decision had been taken to carve out Nagalim from areas in the north-east inhabited by Nagas.




Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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