The Army has dismantled a hideout belonging to the insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN(IM)], at Kekru Naga Village in Manipur on Friday. Its cadres were also apprehended after they were found extorting from people at a village.
Indian Army’s Eastern Command said in a tweet, “In a major blow to the insurgent groups, Indian Army troops busted an NSCN(IM) hideout at Kekru Naga Village in Manipur on July 5 resulting in the recovery of large quantities arms and ammunition”.
In a major blow to the insurgent groups #IndianArmy tps busted a NSCN(IM) hideout at Kekru Naga Village in Manipur on 05 Jul resulting in recovery of large quantities arms and ammunition @adgpi @spokespersonMOD pic.twitter.com/zWKHsJN5oU
— EasternCommand_IA (@easterncomd) July 6, 2019
“A member of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) was detained after he was found trying to hide among people in plainclothes”, the Army said.
The security forces launched a well-coordinated operation on Friday, after receiving a specific input regarding the Naga rebels, NSCN(IM) cadres camping in village Kekru Naga and carrying out illegal extortion in general area Nungba.
However, seeing the force advancing toward their camp, the cadres fled leaving a huge amount of arms, ammunition, tents, uniform and other warlike stores. The weapons found by the raiding team included an American-origin M16 assault rifle with 125 rounds, one self-loading rifle with 26 rounds and some AK series assault rifles, apart from other “warlike stores”.
According to a Defence Ministry, the Security forces are working closely in sync with police, intelligence agencies, civil administration and the local people to identify such unauthorised hideouts.
“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,” defence ministry added.
The Naga quest for independence is one of the longest-running struggles in the Indian subcontinent.
The NSCN (IM), formed in 1980, is led by 85-year-old Thuingaleng Muivah. The other top leader of the group, Isak Chishi Swu, died three years ago at the age of 87 due to multi-organ failure. Over the years, the NSCN-IM has been accused of killings, extortion and other subversive activities. The insurgent group’s persistent demand for independence from India led to a military clampdown on the group.
In August 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.
The signing of the pact was the culmination of over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed.