Kohima: In a massive blow to NSCN-IM, 22 senior members of the Naga insurgent group from eastern Nagaland reportedly defected to join NSCN’s Unification faction on Monday.
According to reports, out of the 22 members, 15 belonged to the ‘political’ section, the remaining seven were from the armed wing of the outfit.
This move assumes significance as Hukavi Yepthomi, the former ‘kilo kilonser’ (home minister) and current member of negotiating team of the Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM with the Centre, has already decided to leave the group and join the working committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) last week.
The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Unification (NSCN-U) was formed on November 23, 2007 with an inter-factional ‘truce agreement’ signed between the few cadres and leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the rival National Socialist Council of Nagaland–Khaplang (NSCN-K) at Hovishe under Niuland sub-division in the Dimapur district. The meeting was initiated and chaired by Hokiye, president of the Western Sumi Hoho, an influential body of the Sumi (Sema) tribe. The NSCN-IM was led by ‘kilo-kilonser’ (home minister) Azheto Chophy and the NSCN-K by ‘kilonser’ (cabinet minister) C Singson.
Meanwhile, announcing that historical and political rights of Naga people is being threatened and manipulated by a section of Nagas for their vested interests, Eastern Naga National Workers Forum (ENNWF) said, “In fact, the imposed solution with some economic packages that the WC of NNPGs is vying for is a pure mockery and betrayal to the Naga living history and their easy agreement with the government of India within two years of the so called peace talks only for Nagas of Nagaland is nothing more than an insult to the souls of thousands of Naga martyrs who sacrificed their lives for a shared future in the course of our freedom struggle.”
The contributions, in terms of material and immaterial, that the eastern Nagas made for the struggle are still a living witness in the history of Naga people and their struggle, and they are not meant for just a section of Nagas within the Naga family.
“The atrocities and catastrophe experienced by the eastern Nagas from both India and Burma [Myanmar] are uncountable and words will not qualify them to express the picture of actual suffering. They cannot be erased from the annals of Naga history and these are historical facts which cannot be twisted or betrayed by anyone however big or tall because these sacrifices are meant for the true cause of Naga people to live as one people with freedom and dignity based on the unique historical fact. They are never meant for just a section of Nagas trying to live off other fellow Nagas,” the release said.
“The ENNWF after having read the various press statements in the local dailies issued by NNPGs with the effort to seal off the solution for Nagas of Nagaland alone, are compelled to express our position and call on every Naga regardless of tribes and regions to out rightly condemn and reject such a deal,” the release added.
“So as to also make our position that any solution which denies the eastern Nagas and dishonours the Naga people as a sovereign nation, we the ENNWF will not own any responsibility in the future for any eventuality. Meanwhile, we remind NNPGs once again that solution must be acceptable and honourable which encompasses all the Nagas wherever they live. We, the ENNWF wholeheartedly stand in support of the collective leadership of NSCN in an effort to secure Naga national flag and constitution which are the backbone of Naga people as a sovereign nation with the distinct identity,” the release further said.