Centre bans NSCN (Khaplang) for 5 years

Centre bans NSCN (Khaplang) for 5 years

Centre bans NSCN (Khaplang) for 5 years

Three months after the audacious attack on the Army in Manipur, the Centre on Wednesday banned Naga insurgent outfit NSCN(K) for five years.

The ban came days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) declared a reward on NSCN(K) chief S S Khaplang and key leader Niki Sumi for their involvement in a series of attacks on security personnel, including the June 4 attack in Manipur that killed 18 soldiers.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the Home Ministry proposal was deliberated. The Khaplang-led outfit had unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire agreement in March and had been targeting security forces.

“The NSCN(K), which is responsible for explosions, ambushes and bombings, has been declared as an unlawful organisation for a period of five years,” Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the NSCN(K) was declared a banned organisation after due deliberations and following due legal process.

Efforts were on to try and bring as many organisations possible to the negotiation table to find a solution to the issue, he said.

After reneging from the ceasefire pact in March, the group had forged ties with several other insurgent outfits, including the ULFA faction headed by Paresh Barua, in May, and formed the United Liberation Front of South East Asia.

According to officials, NSCN(K) has 700 to 800 cadres and same number of sophisticated weapons, including rocket launchers.

A Home Ministry note also said the outfit coordinates its military activities from Myanmar where a sizeable detachment of its cadre is in various camps.

Besides the June 4 incident, the Ministry has also noted that NSCN(K) was involve in two incidents on March 26 in Nagaland where four Assam Rifles personnel and four civilians were injured. Another incident on May 3 — ambush on Assam Rifles and Naga Territorial Army killing eight security personnel — also was highlighted by the Ministry.

According to the Home Ministry officials, NSCN(K) has indulged in extortion, kidnapping and systematic drive for recruitment of fresh cadre for its terrorist and insurgency activities. It has also established camps and hide-outs across the country’s borders to carry out secessionist activities.

When asked why it took more than three months to ban the outfit, sources pointed out to differences within the government. Sources said while Home Ministry officials had been insisting on banning it, government-appointed interlocutor for Naga peace talks R N Ravi was reportedly in favour of restarting negotiations with the group.

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