Tussle for Phek foothold

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Kohima
  • Published 4.06.05
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Kohima, June 4: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) is slowly gaining a foothold in Phek district, a bastion of the rival Naga National Council (Adino).

This became evident when the Chakhesang Public Organisation in the district appealed to the Chakhesang rebels belonging to the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) ? the militant arm of the Adino Phizo-led NNC ? to leave the transit camps. The FGN has a large Chakhesang tribe base.

The transit camps were formed after the NNC signed the Shillong Accord in 1975. Many leaders of the NNC still live in these ?peace camps?.

situated mainly in Kohima and Phek districts.

The Chakhesang Public Organisation said the Shillong Accord had to be denounced and that if there has to be a solution to the Naga problem, NNC leaders needed to leave the transit camps.

This has also been a consistent demand of the NSCN (I-M), which blames the NNC for signing the Shillong Accord and accuses it of compromising Naga interests.

President of the Chakhesang organisation, Vedayi Nyekha, said people have ?obeyed? their appeal.

Sources said several FGN cadres in Phek district now move hand-in-hand with NSCN (I-M) activists. It is a significant development in that the NSCN (I-M) had not been able to make a dent in the NNC stronghold of Phek district.

However, there have also been reports that in several areas, the NNC is co-operating with the NSCN (Khaplang) to fight the I-M faction.

NNC speaker, Lhouvits?, said the report of Chakhesang tribe cadre joining the NSCN (I-M) was untrue.

The NNC stands by the Shillong Accord, arguing that it was the only way to prevent atrocities allegedly committed by the army those days. ?While the NNC argument may be true, we cannot let the government of India crush our rights,? said Nyekha. However, he also reaffirmed his organisation?s commitment in favour of a solution through non-violence.

Another advantage for the NSCN (I-M) is the Chakhesang organisation?s support for its demand of integration of Naga-inhabited areas.

Nyekha said their support to the integration demand or appeal for exit of militant leaders from transit camps did not mean that they were favouring the NSCN (I-M) or against the FGN/NNC.

He said the appeal has reached the grassroots and people were getting out of the camps.

However, senior FGN leaders staying in the transit camp in a Kohima village said they could either be at a ?peace camp or leave for a war camp?.

The Chakhesang organisation said any rebel indulging in antisocial activities would not be tolerated. Of late, the NSCN (I-M) has gained the sympathy of the Chakhesang Mothers? Association through their ?enforcement? of prohibition of alcohol in Phek district.