China arms for Naga rebels

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Kohima
  • Published 14.10.09
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Kohima, Oct. 14: The Centre today said the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) has been procuring arms from China. At the same time, it disclosed that the Constitution could be amended as a part of the “political package” to be offered to the outfit by November.

Union home secretary G.K. Pillai, who is on a two-day visit to Nagaland, said the government had information that some top NSCN (I-M) leaders “have gone to China” and that the neighbouring country had been supplying sophisticated arms to the Naga militants.

The senior bureaucrat was speaking to reporters here after holding consultative meetings with top government officials and leaders of various civil organisations.

Replying to a query, he, however, said there was no concrete report of any camp being set up by the outfit in that country.

The home secretary was quick to add that India was not worried about China. “We don’t have to worry about China. We will handle China,” he asserted.

Pillai was here to seek the opinions and views of all sections of Naga people and incorporate the same in the “political package” before finalising it. He said the Centre’s cabinet committee on political affairs would review the package before it was placed before the NSCN (I-M).

The home secretary said the government was working out a mechanism to hammer out a solution that would be “honourable and acceptable to both the Centre and the Naga people” through negotiation. “We are not offering any conditional package to the NSCN (I-M). It is upto them to accept it or not,” he added.

He said Naga group had not asked for an economic package in its proposals submitted to the Centre and that monetary aspect would not be included in the “political package.”

Pillai said the “political package” would be offered to the NSCN (I-M) and ruled out talks with any other Naga outfit in the immediate future.

He said to evolve a consensus on the “political package,” the Centre was holding broad-based discussions with all Naga civil societies, tribal hohos and other principal organisations from Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Pillai skirted the contentious issue of integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella, saying the “political leadership” in New Delhi would take a call on it.

He said once the “political package” was placed before the NSCN (I-M), all substantive issues would be discussed and that the Centre was prepared for an open discussion on all aspects of the Naga problem. He said there had been a decline in violence in Nagaland but the state government had failed to curb extortion. The Centre has discussed the matter with the Neiphiu Rio government.

“The state government should have the will to act against anti-social activities,” he said.

During his stay here, Pillai met Rio and his cabinet colleagues, top security officials, civil officials, the Naga Hoho, the Naga Mothers’ Association, the Naga Students’ Federation, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation, the Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation and other leading Naga organisations.

In the evening, he met the army top brass at 3 Corps headquarters at Rangapahar in Dimapur.