The Union government is hoping that the Indian Naga rebels will return to the mainstream following the death of senior Naga rebel leader Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang. Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said if the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) rebels give up arms and abjure violence, they will be rehabilitated.
“Khaplang was the heart and soul of NSCN-K, which will face a lot of difficulties without him. The NSCN-K has members from both India and Myanmar. The Myanmar nationals are not our concern, but we will appeal to the Indian NSCN-K rebels to return to the mainstream,” Rijiju said.
The 77-year-old Khaplang, chairman of the NSCN-K, died on Friday at the outfit’s base in Myanmar’s Sagaing Division.
The NSCN-K is a banned illegal Myanmar-based organisation, that caused a lot of problems for Nagaland, eastern Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as did Assam, Rijiju said. However, this did not stop Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu from mourning Khaplang’s death “on behalf of the government and people of Nagaland”.
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