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Kohima, November 8: As precautionary measures, the armed cadres of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), who are outside the country are unlikely to return before finalizing all issues for final agreement.
Sources said several hundreds of “Naga Army” are camping along China-Myanmar border. There are around 1500 strong armed cadres of NSCN currently camping near China border and they would be there till all issues are cleared for the final pact with the Government of India according to sources.
It is understood that NSCN does not want the Union Government to push them to the wall and force them to accept the solution, but continue to bargain for “honourable and acceptable solution”.
NSCN sources also said they are taking all precautionary measures.
Over 300 cadres who were reportedly on their way to join their comrades were flushed out by the Myanmar army recently and they have sneaked back inside India through porous border. Currently army is conducting operation in Myanmar against NSCN (K) and other rebel groups who are not part of the nationwide ceasefire. But NSCN insider said Naga cadres are sound and safe in Myanmar.
The union Government was reportedly trying to seal the Indo-Myanmar border to thwart movements of Naga militants.
The Naga militants have been camping along China-Myanmar for the last several months headed by few top rebel commanders. Recently during the period of uncertainty, after New Delhi had set a deadline of October 31 to resolve the vexed Naga issue, hundreds of cadres fled to undisclosed locations.
Government suspects some top leaders of NSCN would be in Yunnan province in China. This province has been used by Naga militants in the past.
The numbers could not be confirmed, however, sources said there were few hundreds of cadres in Bangladesh too. NSCN has been operating in Bangladesh as their transit point for several years.
China’s support for Naga militants is not a new fact. Following the 1962 Indo-China conflict, and facilitated by Pakistani intelligence in Bangladesh, Kughato Sukhai, claimed as Naga prime minister, wrote to Chinese leaders alleging persecution and oppression by India and called on China to ‘honour and follow their principle of safeguarding and upholding the cause of any suppressed nation of Mongolian stock. In November 1966, China covertly trained and procured weapons for a 300-strong contingent of Naga rebels in support of Maoist revolution. The group returned to India in January 1968. China apparently curtailed support for Indian insurgents starting in the late 1980s following Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 1988 visit to China. However, the Indian military has strongly suspected that Chinese intelligence agencies have in fact been continuing to support Indian rebels clandestinely, although until recently it had little evidence to prove this.
A top foreign commander of NSCN, Anthony Shimray’s arrest in 2010, proved to be a boon for India, which had been pursuing him for years. Indian authorities reportedly caught a break in September 2010 when Shimray’s whereabouts were traced to Bangkok. However, under international law, they couldn’t arrest him until he set foot in Indian territory.
A tip came that Shimray would need to travel from Thailand to get his visa renewed and visit his interlocutors in Manipur and Nagaland, but would first have to pass through Nepal. On September 27, Shimray took a Royal Nepal Airlines flight to Kathmandu and made his way across the Indian border into Bihar, where Indian authorities arrested him at a rail station.
During his interrogation, Indian intelligence officials were said to have been shocked at the breadth and intricacy of obvious ties revealed between Chinese intelligence and NSCN operatives, in many cases utilizing a vast set-up of front companies and middlemen in Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, and North Korea. Shimray revealed that he first visited China in 1994 as part of a joint arms deal with the Indian insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
So, why relations between China and the NSCN? One factor is said to be the revelation that China had agreed to host a permanent NSCN representative based out of Kunming, Yunnan Province, in 2008.
The Naga rebels have also been using Bangladesh for procurement of arms and as a transit point to go abroad since the time of Naga National Council (NNC) in the 1950s. (Page News Service)