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NSCN-IM poses challenge to Nagaland govt
G Vinayak in Guwahati | September 28, 2004 09:02 IST
After years of running a clandestine parallel government in Nagaland and parts of Manipur, the Issac-Muivah group of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has been emboldened, perhaps by the seven years of truce, enough to come out into the open.
In its latest diktat, the outfit - currently engaged in talks with the government - has asked all private schools in Nagaland to register themselves with the 'Government of the People's Republic of Nagalim' and add four 'Naga national days' to their list of official holidays.
This directive comes close on the heels of the outfit's decision to recruit members for its civilian wing through advertisements in the local media.
The Neiphiu Rio government is in a tizzy over the NSCN-IM's open challenge to its authority but appears helpless.
On Monday, NSCN-IM cadres shut down all private schools in the state to observe 'agony day', one of the four holidays that the outfit wants added to the already long list of holidays for schools.
Institutions that opened in defiance of the diktat were politely asked by the militant group to suspend all classes by noon.
Though nobody dared to argue with the NSCN-IM, several schools complained to the government about the diktat. The administration, however, chose not to go beyond condemning the militant group's interference.
The chief minister described the NSCN-IM's act as a manifestation of 'foolishness' but was at a loss for words on how to deal with the situation.
"I will look into the matter. They are not authorised to do such things. The people will go against them if they carry on with such behaviour," was all that Rio said.
Rio heads the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) led by the Nagaland People's Front (NPF). The conglomerate of five regional and non-Congress political parties has 38 legislators in the 60-member assembly.
The chairperson of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, Lt Gen (retd) R V Kulkarni, could not say if the militant outfit's action was tantamount to violating the ground rules of the truce.
The four days that the NSCN-IM wants to add to the list of school holidays are: the outfit's raising day (January 31), agony day - a day of sadness for the nation (September 27), Naga republic day (March 21) and independence day (August 14).
In a press communiqué on Sunday, NSCN-IM deputy secretary L Luiyik said the outfit was concerned about the quality of education in private schools. The organisation had been forced to monitor their functioning. This, he said, necessitated registration of schools with the organisation.
More reports from Nagaland
Read about: Naga Ceasefire