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Naga militants threaten Arunachal legislators

March 24, 2011 15:40 IST

The chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang faction) S S Khaplang has asked all the 12 elected legislators of the Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh to quit the ruling government or face the consequences. The alleged letter categorically directed all the 12 MLAs to corner Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu.

Reacting to the NSCN-K diktat, Khandu made it clear that the state government would not pay any heed to it and would go all out to implement its pre-poll developmental agenda in all the districts of the state.

Khandu said, "I have apprised the Union home ministry and also have written to Home Secretary G K Pillai to initiate inquiry into the entire issue of NSCN-K letter and its impact."

He also accused the NSCN leaders and cadres of 'blatantly violating' the ceasefire ground rules. The Union home ministry is believed to have asked the ceasefire monitoring group to inquire into the developments.

Tirap and Changlang districts of the Arunachal Pradesh neighbour Nagaland. Both districts also share a border with Myanmar. A sizeable number of Konyak Naga tribes live in these two districts. That is why the NSCN-K has demanded incorporation of these two districts with the so called 'Greater Nagaland'.

In fact, intelligence sources have confirmed that the NSCN-K cadres have launched a massive extortion drive in both the districts apart from arms procurement activities. Sources also confirmed that both the NSCN factions have engaged in group clashes in the area mainly to gain control.

At present the NSCN-K has a major influence in both districts. Sources revealed that in February both factions had fought a major battle in Tirap district in the process, NSCN-Isaac-Muviah lost over 25 cadres. NSCN-K also lost about half-a-dozen members.

Following these developments, the Cabinet Committee on Security has recently given its nod empowering the army and other central paramilitary forces to launch major offensive against the NSCN militants in the two affected districts.
Earlier, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also visited the affected districts and warned the leadership of both factions.

Chidambaram also stated that during the ceasefire period, armed militants should not be allowed to roam around and they should live in designated camps. The government would not tolerate any violation of the ceasefire ground rules, he cautioned.

Since the militants failed to restrain themselves, the CCS has asked the army and central paramilitary forces to step in and restore the law and order in the area.

Sujit Chakraborty in New Delhi