In an important development in the Northeastern region, the Indian army has busted an undesignated hideout of National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) in Manipur on Saturday. The NSCN (IM) is the largest insurgent group in the northeast with a presence in parts of Manipur and Nagaland. The Naga insurgent group has a ceasefire pact with the government and it must inform the government about the location of its camps. An unauthorised camp of the militant group has been busted by the Indian Army after it was found carrying out illegal extortion in Kekru Naga village of Manipur.
“An undesignated and unauthorized hideout of NSCN (IM) was busted on July 6 by the Army troops at Kekru Naga village in Manipur. Based on a specific input regarding NSCN (IM) cadres camping in Kekru Naga and carrying out illegal extortion, a well-coordinated operation was launched on the night of July 5,” the Army said in a statement. “However, seeing the troops advancing toward their camp, the cadres fled leaving huge amount of arms, ammunition, uniform and other war-like stores,” the Army said.
A suspected member of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) was also detained after he was found trying to hide among people in plainclothes, the Army said. During the raid the army has recovered American-origin M16 assault rifle with 125 rounds, one self-loading rifle with 26 rounds and some AK series assault rifles and other “warlike stores”. According to the Army it took action against the unauthorized hideout after its members were found extorting money from local villagers. Army also added that it is working closely with the police, intelligence agencies, civil administration and the locals to identify similar “unauthorised hideouts” of the NSCN (IM). “Immediate action is being taken to identify and dismantle such undesignated NSCN (IM) camps in Manipur and to stop atrocities as well as illegal activities of these cadres,” Army said in a statement.
According to local sources the troops were deployed to verify the existence of the unauthorized camp, message to vacate the camp was also relayed to the NSCN (IM) through villagers. Later the General Secretary United Naga Council had called the commander of Assam Rifles Sector confirming the presence of NSCN (IM) camp. After Briefing of the Chairman of Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) on existence of unauthorized groups, the very next day instructions were issued for immediate vacation of the NSCN (IM) camp.
Over the years the Naga insurgent group has been accused of killings, extortion and other subversive activities, however, in 1997 the Isak Muivah faction entered into a truce with the central government for peace and since then dialogue has been continuing between center’s emissaries and NSCN (IM). Finally in August of 2015, the NSCN(IM) signed a framework agreement with the government which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “historic” step to usher in peace in the state. Shunning all the violence, this framework called for greater cultural integration of Nagas living in states other than Nagaland through special measures. While Isak Muivah faction is the biggest Naga rebel group in the region, it has been maintaining ceasefire however another Naga Rebel group, NSCN (K) of the S S Khaplang faction continues to indulge in violent tactics. The Indian Army has carried out major surgical strikes on NSCN (K) camps operating from Myanmar.