Chequered History of Nagaland

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Image Source: nagalim.nl
On Monday 03rd August 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi greeted the nation with a historic announcement from his residence. The Announcement was the historic “Naga Peace Accord” between Government of India & NSCN IM {National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) faction}. The Signing Ceremony of a Broad Framework of a Political Agreement between Govt of India & Naga leaders at 7 RCR was indeed a historic moment that could put an end to the 5-decade-old Insurgency in Nagaland. The Exact Details of Naga Peace Accord are yet to be put out but from various media reports the broad terms seem to be NSCN IM would disarm itself & come into mainstream Indian Politics. NSCN IM seems to have made a climb down from its demand of Sovereign State of Greater Nagaland & in principle agrees to recognize Indian Constitution. In Return the Government of India would recognize the Unique Status of Nagas, Cultural Identity & Integration of Nagas; that should allay fears of other states in the Region on the change of Boundaries. Though exact details in the broad framework are to be worked out & challenges internally and externally remain like the threat of violence by NSCN K (Khaplang Faction) based out of Myanmar but the chances of arriving at peace have relatively brightened that could put an end to the simmering problem of decades in North-Eastern India. A Brief insight into known political history of Nagaland issue can be traced on this Link.
Foreign Backing of Greater Nagaland
The above history of Nagaland Issue is known in public domain but there are many other actors who are being abetted by foreign forces in Nagaland since decades with a view to abet & prolong the Nagaland Issue in India’s North East to keep the pot boiling. In this view one must point to the Article written by Former Chief Secretary of Assam, JP Rajkhowa in “The Sentinel” on 12th May 2008 who explained the Role of Foreign Powers in Nagaland Issue and the nefarious designs behind the same.
The Mother of All insurgencies in the North East began in Nagaland with late AZ Phizo spearheading the Naga Rebellion by launching a fully armed organization called NNC (Naga National Council) whose goal was to form a sovereign Nagaland by seceding from the Union of India. Interestingly, the same Phizo, who hailed from Khonoma village, assisted the Indian National Army (INA) led by Netaji in the battle at Kohima during the Second World War in order to defeat the British imperialists. Rani Gaidinliu, then a girl aged 16, led the movement called Zeliangrong Heraka Movement to protect the sovereignty of the country and defend the indigenous Hindu faith.
Even after the Resistance, the British managed to capture Naga Hills in 1881 & pushed British and American Christian missionaries into Nagaland. Forced Conversions & expansion of British Rule continued simultaneously. At the time of Independence, just like the partition of East & West Pakistan based on Divide & Rule policy, the British left Naga people divided among India & Burma with some spread out in other neighboring states like Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal etc. This sowed the seeds of the decades of conflict, which India has witnessed in the region. 
The British aided AZ Phizo who was a Christian convert & NNC to declare an Independent state of Nagaland in 1947 with an aim to create a Christian State in India’s North East. Missionaries acted as informers against army (Indian) movements and against those who did not support NNC uprising and Christian inquisition jointly operated by NNC and the Church. British missionary Rev Michael Scott became the friend, philosopher and guide of Phizo and NNC rebellion. The British reverend supplied lethal weapons packed in Red Cross boxes to NNC militants. This politically motivated Reverend was later expelled from the country because of his anti-India activities by then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru.
The Church formed several NGOs, which acted as hosts to NNC guerillas and Christian crusade. Naga Club and Naga Hoho were two such NGOs, which were master campaigners and expert educators of NNC and the Church agenda amongst the Naga public. When the Government of India wanted to arrest Phizo for his anti-national activities, he silently escaped to London where he lived a royal life till his death in 1990 hosted by a British Church organization under the supervision of Rev Michael Scott and Billy Graham. As of now, the NNC stands divided into four camps – NSCN (IM), NSCN (Unification), NNC (Adino) and NNC (Yanthan), which has led to fratricidal killings in their race for supremacy even after the conciliatory role played by many NGOs, including the Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches.
Several masked NGOs are reportedly registered under the country’s law with the declared objective of serving the society in the field of economic uplift, hygiene, medical care, education, AIDS etc., and are receiving unaccountable money from their foreign masters. In return, they are reportedly funding rebel outfits for acquiring lethal weapons. These NGOs reportedly maintain a close strategic link with the Church as well; whose aggressive religious expansionism agenda gets field support through them. The local and international Church organizations and local and international non-governmental organizations are now very thick with NSCN (IM) and they are helping it in all respects.
With a view to internationalizing the domestic problem pertaining to Naga society, one American Goodwill Mission toured Nagaland during May 16-27, 2007 and tried their level best to establish Christian solidarity with US Christians. Nagaland Church has also reportedly come forward in establishing this solidarity by declaring the State as ‘Nagaland for Christ’, where only Christianity is a recognized religion (in spite of our secular Constitution).
Nagalim is the proposed Naga Country advanced by NSCN (IM), which is almost nine times bigger than existing Nagaland including almost three-fourth of Manipur and large portions of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. It is also known as the Proposed Greater Nagaland. With the help of international Church organizations and foreign NGOs, NSCN (IM) has several support centers in the Netherlands, Thailand, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, South Korea, Australia, England, Philippines, Sweden, Belgium and US. The source of the above information is The Morung Express (December 10, 2006). Security analysts strongly believe that America has a reason to help NSCN (IM). There is no Christian country in the Third World. This is the main nexus of USA, UK and the Vatican. They want to create a Christian country thus Greater Nagaland, which NSCN (IM) now refers to as Nagalim, which, if carved out, will be the proposed Christian country in the subcontinent.
In Asia, Communist and Islamic countries have banned the preaching of Christianity. And that is why India is at the top of the hit list of targets. NSCN-IM is operating in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland for forced conversions. From 1970, the Church openly championed the use of the Roman script for the language of the tribals of Tripura and Bodos of Assam. This even prompted two Marxist ministers in the Tripura government, Dasrath Deb and Ranjit Deb Burman, to characterize the demand of Roman script for the Kokborok region of Tripura as communal politics. On August 21, 2000, terrorists of the Church-backed NDFB gunned down Bineswar Brahma, president of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha. His only crime was that he favoured the use of Devanagari script for the Bodo language.
The NSCN has its offices in New York, Geneva and Hague, which display boards with… People’s Republic of Nagaland. It has twice raised its demand for an independent nation in the United Nations. The NSCN has its own government, which collects money from local people: one third of the salaries of government servants are taken away as Nagaland tax before disbursement. Most of the banks in Nagaland have closed down because of the huge sums extorted by this outfit. The letterheads and stamps of this unofficial government read ‘Nagaland for Christ’. Most of the terrorist organizations in the region follow this pattern…”.
The above extracts from JP Rajkhowa article explain how this Missionary Conversions & NGO Nexus abetted by foreign forces is aiming to change the demography of the Region & foment trouble in India’s North East especially in formation of a Greater Nagaland. It’s not only the Church and Missionaries who are acting as fronts of foreign agencies in Nagaland but there are also other actors like China & Pakistan’s ISI that are aiding Naga Rebels in fomenting trouble in the region.
Foreign Support of Insurgency in Nagaland:
Taga Region in Myanmar is home to insurgents from the NSCN K, UNLF & others. 3 camps of the 28th battalion of ULFA were in Myanmar, adjacent to the camps of NSCN–K. There are almost 110 ULFA Carders in these 3 camps. NSCN & ULFA are operating collectively & training their cadres in the Forest of Myanmar. KIA (Kachin Independent Army) along with arms supply also provides training to Indian North East insurgent groups like NSCN-K. Documents seized in operation Rhino established ULFA Links with the KIA, NSCN & LTTE and also proved existence of sanctuaries in Bangladesh. Even the NSCN-K Chief SS Khaplang has admitted that Nagas have taken help from China & Pakistan in the past. The UNLF is also close to NSCN-K and has training camps in Myanmar & Bangladesh. Despite the Occasional Crackdowns on NSCN-K, ULFA & PLA rebels have been functioning from Myanmar without any difficulties. Dismantling all NSCN Camps or ULFA bases in Myanmar is extremely difficult as some of the Tatmadaw officers have very close ties with them. NSCN & ULFA have also been using the Sagaing Division as a launch pad for their trafficking & terrorist activities.
Naga Leader Muivah & the NSCN IM Chairman Isak Chisi Swu have been living in Bangkok for more than 20 years now, own apartments & have business interests in the Thai Capital. IBRF, initially was made up of the NSCN K, ULFA, NDFB, Kuki national Front & Chin National Front of Myanmar. NSCN, which is heavily armed constantly, provokes insurgencies in neighboring states of India like Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura & Assam. ISI is also providing finance & logistical support to the NDFB, NSCN K, All Tripura Tiger force, National Liberation Front of Tripura, PLA (Manipur) & Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) etc.
In October 2010, Anthony Shimray, a key official and major arms procurer of the NSCN-IM, who had been operating out of Bangkok, was arrested by Indian Intelligence authorities in Bihar. Shimray is the nephew of NSCN IM’s general secretary T Muivah & he was close to Chinese Intelligence Agencies. Shimray in his interrogation spoke at length about NSCN (IM); he also revealed China’s links with ULFA and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in Assam and the United National Liberation Front in Manipur. Shimray also told his interrogators how he procured arms from the Chinese in late 2007. “It was decided by our leadership stationed in New Delhi to strengthen the weaponry of the organization,” he revealed. With Narue’s help, he contacted Yuthuna, a Chinese representative of TCL in Bangkok, TCL being the “authorized subsidiary of the Chinese arms company China Xinshidai, Beijing”. On its website, Xinshidai is described as dealing in the import and export of specialized products by China’s defense industries.
The final shopping list included 600 AK series rifles, nearly 6 lakh ammunition rounds, 200 sub-machine guns, pistols, rocket launchers, light machine guns and 200 kg of RDX. The deal was worth $1.2 million, with an additional $1 million for shipment from China. The consignment was sent through a shipping agent in Kittichai of Bangkok-based Intermarine Shipping. It was to be “loaded from Beihei, a south Chinese port. The destination was Cox’s Bazaar”, a major landing station on the Bangladesh coast. “All the correspondence with Willy Narue, our leadership in New Delhi, Nagaland and others in Thailand and China,” Shimray said, “was made on e-mail to maintain the secrecy of the entire project.” The information was saved as a draft and accessed by Chinese intelligence using Shimray’s password. Shimray also recalled his visit to China in 1994 for a joint arms deal for NDFB. The “procurement of the arms and ammunition” was “made from the Chinese company NORINCO”. This consignment included “1,800 pieces of arms and one lakh rounds, which included AK series rifles, M16 automatic assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and pistols”. The money came from a Naga businessman using Calcutta-based hawala operators.
Again, in 1996, “arms and ammunition were brought from Beijing to Cox’s Bazaar in a North Korean ship”. After the consignment was unloaded in small boats on the high seas and transferred in trucks to NSCN (IM) camps in Bangladesh, it travelled to the Northeast. According to Shimray, in a letter from ‘Prime Minister’ Muivah addressed to senior Chinese intelligence officials, Kholose Swu Sumi, a 60-year-old member of the Sema tribe in the Zunheboto district of Nagaland, was appointed as the permanent representative of the NSCN (IM) in China. NSCN (IM) cadres in the border district of Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh began to immediately monitor Indian troop movements. Shimray contacted a Naga journalist in Delhi, paid her Rs 80,000, and persuaded her to travel to Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Dalai Lama, to gather intelligence. The NSCN (IM) leadership was received by “the Pakistani intelligence officials” in Karachi way back in 2001 even as the NSCN (IM) was negotiating peace with New Delhi. In 2008, an ISI agent working under the pseudonym of “Mr. Rex” and stationed in Bangladesh visited the NSCN (IM) leadership in Bangkok and offered “financial help as well as military training” if the Nagas broke the ceasefire with India.
On January 25, 2011, Wang Qing, a Chinese spy disguised as a TV reporter, was arrested and deported after she reportedly visited the headquarters of the NSCN-IM—one of India’s largest and most troublesome insurgent groups. Indian authorities said Qing admitted to being a spy for the People’s Security Bureau, a Chinese intelligence agency, and that she had conducted a secretive four-hour-long, closed-door meeting with Thuingaleng Muivah, a key rebel leader of the NSCN-IM who is currently holding reconciliation talks with the Indian government. Even Latest Intelligence reports point to – 9 Militant groups in North East have been united by Chinese Intelligence including NSCN-K, ULFA Faction led by Paresh Baruah to form “United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia” on the heels of NSCN K abrogating 14 year old Ceasefire agreement with Govt of India in March 2015. Both Khaplang & Baruah are now based out of Myanmar after Bangladesh launched a Crackdown on the groups. Besides NSCN-K & ULFA-independent other groups that participated in the meeting held at Taga in Sagaing Division of Myanmar earlier this month were Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, People’s Liberation Army, United National Liberation Front & National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction).
Ramifications of Naga Peace Accord:
Given the Complexities involved in the Nagaland Issue, one of India’s longest running insurgencies, the Naga Peace accord signed few days back with NSCN IM is a historic step in resolving the issue. With so many foreign actors involved in the Naga Issue from Christian Missionaries, Church to China & Pakistan’s intelligence agencies funneling in arms and logistical support any peace effort is bound to be hard fought. Govt of India has signed Historic Accord with NSCN IM of giving up demands on Sovereignty & Greater Nagaland for recognition of Rights of Naga People & may be devolution of Greater Autonomy within the Indian Constitution. Yet dangers remain like a backlash from NSCN K & other Rebels (Backed by China & Pakistan) from across the Border in Myanmar; these groups are badly stung by India’s cross border Raid into its sanctuaries into Myanmar recently. Hence what has been achieved by way of this peace accord is no way less than historic & one hopes this brings a peaceful end to 5 decades old insurgency in India’s North East. 

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