fifty years ago April 19, 1967 Archive

China’s interest in Nagaland problem

China has become involved in the 14-year-old conflict between the Nagas and the Indian Government, says a news story in the Observer, London. This development, long feared by India and friends of the Naga cause, has been confirmed in New Delhi and Peking. A Peking broadcast has announced that the “Naga people in the eastern part of India have strengthened their armed struggle against the reactionary Indian Government.” It then gave a series of detailed reports of Naga operations against the Manipur Rifles in Jiribam and against a ‘loyalist’ Village Volunteer Force in Tamenglong. “Where there is oppression, there is resistance,” Radio Peking said. “The Naga people’s armed struggle is solely the result of the policy of ruthless racial extermination practised by the Government over the years.” Hitherto China has refrained from showing open interest in the conflict between the Nagas and the Indian Government, which started in 1953 over the refusal of the Nagas to be unconditionally incorporated into the Indian Union. It is not clear whether the groups in Peking are splinters of the main underground force, or whether they represent a change of front in the policies of the Naga leadership.

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