Nikki Sumi appointed NSCN (K) commander-in-chief

GUWAHATI, 22nd Oct: In what may termed as an interesting turn of events, less than a week after the NIA announced the list of ‘Most Wanted Fugitives’ in India whereby the names of top leaders of the NSCN also featured, reports are in that Nikki Sumi has been appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of NSCN (K) led by Yung Aung, nephew of SS Khaplang.

Sources informed that Nikki Sumi had to be appointed as the C-in-C as he is from a dominant Sema Naga tribe. Without appointment of the Nagas of Nagaland, Aung led NSCN-K cannot proceed ahead. This recent development was also confirmed by a top NSCN functionary on the condition of anonymity.

This development comes after Khango Konyak, the ‘impeached’ ‘chairman’ of the NSCN-K reportedly entered India through a remote village in eastern Nagaland from his base in neighbouring Myanmar on October 16. Sources also informed that the Aung faction of NSCN-K possesses relatively high numerical strength as compared to the Konyak faction.

According to media reports, the Government of India has held meetings to discuss if Khango Konyak, former chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), could be allowed to enter India. As per the latest reports, Khango is at Yongkhao village in Nagaland’s Mon district and sources also informed that talks with Naga civil society bodies are on in a bid to resume the ceasefire and peace talks with the Government of India.

Significantly, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav during his recent visit to Nagaland had disclosed that Delhi was waiting for groups like the NSCN Khaplang to join the peace process following which a solution could be arrived at without much delay. But could this be called as a security lapse on the part of the Indian government or is it a white flag, an invitation for an ensuing peace talks that has been delayed for a long time now? The fact cannot be ascertained as of now.

Pictures of Khango Konyak began doing the rounds on social media whereby he was seen addressing the representatives from civil society members and NGOs from eastern Nagaland in a programme held in Yongkhao village. Hence it will not be wrong to say that these may be taken as indicators that Konyak, who is leading the Nagas of Indian origin, might soon join the peace process with the government of India.

The NSCN-K has already been divided on the lines of ‘nationality’. In August, the militant outfit ‘impeached’ Konyak, who became the chairman after its leader SS Khaplang died in June last in a Yangon hospital after prolonged illness. Konyak, who is a Naga of Indian origin, was replaced by Yung Aung, who, like his late uncle Khaplang, belongs to the Hemi Naga community of Myanmar.

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