Guwahati, Aug. 4: The cracks in the Naga unification move deepened today after NSCN (K) chairman S.S. Khaplang turned down his rival outfits offer of talks outside the country.
In a statement, NSCN (K)s ministry of information and publicity said Khaplang told his counterpart in the NSCN (I-M), Isak Chishi Swu, that if he was committed to the cause of Naga unity, his organisation should first pull out of talks with New Delhi.
Khaplang had sent two of his representatives to Chiang Mai in Thailand to attend a reconciliation meeting convened by UK-based Quakers in June after a telephone conversation with Swu. The latest stand of Khaplang has cast a shadow over the next round of the reconciliation meeting at Chiang Mai on August 17.
The Sumi Hoho, the apex body of one of the largest Naga tribes, has already expressed its reservation to attend the meet.
Referring to the telephone conversation between the two leaders last week, the deputy kilonser of the NSCN (K)s ministry of information and publicity, P. Tikhak, said Khaplang was against the NSCN (I-M)-Centre peace talks as it was against the aspirations of the Naga people who want sovereignty.
Tikhak quoted Khaplang as saying that sovereignty cannot be compromised at any cost. Khaplang has also raised objections to the 31-point charter placed by the NSCN (I-M) to the Centre did not include eastern Nagaland, the Naga-inhabited areas in Myanmar, with the rest of the Naga-inhabited are-as within India, Tikhak said.
Khaplang was also of the opinion that the charter of demands did not have the mandate of the Naga people, Tikhak said in his statement. He said Khaplang, however, had made it clear that there could not be any permanent peace in Nagaland unless all the militant groups were united. But he said there should be right spirit for unity.
Sources said Khaplang told Swu that merely meeting outside would not bring unity unless there was an end to fratricidal killings in Nagaland.
In another statement, Tikhak today refuted the claim of the Tirap district administration that the outfit had abducted six villagers from Zedua on Saturday. He said the village leaders — a headman, two panchayat leaders and three others — had volunteered to accompany the NSCN (K) cadres to guide them to the nearby village from Zedua. After reaching the village, the village leaders returned to Zedua, he said.Tikhak said the NSCN (K) cadres had gone to Zedua village to chase out a group of NSCN (I-M) leaders who were taking shelter there. But since the NSCN (I-M) had used the villagers as human shield, the village leaders asked our cadres to retreat and volunteered to guide them to the next village.