New Delhi, Dec. 21: Ignoring assassination threats from the rival National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), Thuingaleng Muivah will spend the New Year in Nagaland.
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) general secretary will spend Christmas in the capital and New Year’s Day in Nagaland, said Kraibo Chawang, the outfit’s deputy kilonser (minister) for information and publicity.
This time round, if Muivah visits Nagaland it will be without outfit chairman Isak Chishi Swu, who is expected to arrive later in January.
Coming down heavily on the rival outfit, Chawang alleged that the Khaplang-led faction does not have either an ideology, political agenda or religion. The NSCN (K) is engaged in a turf war with the NSCN (I-M) and more people have been killed in factional clashes in the last three months than in the previous months of the year.
The Khaplang group today said Muivah is “almost a dead man” and therefore, whether the outfit plotted an attack on him during his visit to Nagaland was immaterial. It said Muivah was in India because his visa had expired, not for any consultations with New Delhi, adds our Kohima correspondent.
Muivah has a tough task on hand during this visit. Besides challenges from the rival group the peace process with the Centre has suffered setbacks. There are fissures in its own ranks too. Although nine NSCN (I-M) leaders were present at the airport late last night, the outfit’s “special emissary” for the peace talks, V.S. Atem, was conspicuous by his absence. So were NGO heads and student leaders who usually receive the rebel leader.
A restive NSCN (I-M) acted tough last night as Muivah said the Centre had better start pushing the peace process forward if things are not to “go out of hand”.
“If anything, in spite of our best efforts, the worst is impending. Then we stand our ground... We will not stand on this earth without self-confidence in ourselves,” Muivah told Naga students gathered at the airport in the wee hours today, following his arrival from Amsterdam.
Although the rebel leader arrived unannounced, he thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “the invitation” and in the same breath apologised for the “inconvenience caused” by his coming at short notice. The NSCN (I-M) has rejected anything short of a separate “Nagalim” with its own constitution outside the purview of the Indian Constitution.