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Enter Khaplang: The rival NSCN fact
The rival NSCN faction is all set to hold peace talks with the Centre
(From The Week Magazine published in India; March 5, 2000)
The arrest of Thuingaleng Muivah has set the clock back on the peace
process in Nagaland. The Muivah faction of the NSCN is yet to nominate a
successor to its jailed general secretary. The next round of peace
talks, which was to be held in the Hague, the Netherlands, in February,
has been postponed. Muivah had already held talks with Prime Minister
Deve Gowda and A.B. Vajpayee, in Zurich and Paris respectively.
After Muivah's arrest tension escalated between the NSCN and the army in
Nagaland. The army accused the NSCN of turning the cease-fire monitoring
cell, set up at Dimapur in 1997, into an extension of its headquarters.
The army also alleged that the NSCN was indulging in extortion,
overseeing abduction, running illegal lottery and training hard-core
cadres. The NSCN said it would retaliate if the army continued spreading
The Centre is sore over Muivah's visit to Karachi and his alleged links
with the ISI and is planning to review the cease-fire. Nagaland Chief
Minister S.C. Jamir has sent a report to the Centre listing specific
cases against Muivah, who is wanted in several murder cases. "Muivah
violated the cease-fire pact when he went to Pakistan to procure arms,"
said Jamir, who survived an attempt on his life last November. He is
dead against the cease-fire in its present form and has been pressing
for its review.
Using the opportunity, the NSCN (Khaplang), which has been waging a bush
war against the Muivah faction, is preparing to hold talks with the
government. Muivah had so far been keeping it out of the talks. Khaplang
men said that they would convene their "national assembly" to arrive at
a consensus on opening a formal dialogue with the government. They
wanted the government to abandon its divide and rule policy and involve
all factions in future discussions. (By Seema Hussain)