India requests Myanmar to hand over NSCN(K) leaders

Request was placed after a detailed dossier of Khaplang and his aides provided by MHA.

August 19, 2015 01:38 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:01 pm IST - New Delhi:

Fugitive leaders Niki Sumi (left) and S.S. Khaplang.

Fugitive leaders Niki Sumi (left) and S.S. Khaplang.

India has asked Myanmar to hand over four top leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Khaplang) [NSCN(K)], including its chief S.S. Khaplang, holding them responsible for ambushing an Army convoy in Manipur in June, killing 18 soldiers.

The NSCN(K) violated a ceasefire with the government in March and has been involved in a series of attacks on security forces in Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Following the ambush of the Army convoy, a special team of the Indian Army launched an attack on the insurgent camps of various militant outfits, 20 km within Myanmar, on June 9, and is believed to have killed at least 20 militants.

Besides Mr. Khaplang, India sought the custody of the outfit’s military commander Niki Sumi, Kirichu and Asang, who were believed to have planned and supervised the attack in Manipur’s Chandel district.

The request was placed during the meeting of the first ever India-Myanmar Joint Consultative Committee held in July.

The Indian delegation was led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Myanmar’s was led by U. Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Committed to fight terror

A joint statement issued after the meeting, without directly naming NSCN-K said, “Both Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism and insurgent activity in all its forms and manifestations. They emphasised the need for enhanced cooperation between security forces and border guarding agencies for securing peace, security and stability in the border areas which is crucial for overall development.”

The request was placed following a detailed dossier of Mr. Khaplang and his aides, provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Hatched a conspiracy

The Indian delegation told the Myanmarese team that the four had hatched the conspiracy to attack the Indian soldiers and directly supervised the execution of the plan.

A senior Home Ministry official said that the Myanmar delegation, however, remained non-committal over India’s request to hand over the NSCN-K leaders.

NSCN-K is in a ceasefire pact with the Myanmar government. Mr. Khaplang, a Naga from Myanmar, was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Yangon till a few days back.

He is learnt to have shifted to his base in Taga, considered to be a hotbed of anti-India insurgent group camps in northwestern Myanmar.

The other three NSCN-K leaders are also believed to be in Myanmar and they shuttle between Taga and the outfit’s other camps.

Army convoy attack

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case in the Army convoy attack incident and has named NSCN-K in the FIR. NIA has said that 23 NSCN-K members participated in the attack, including the two who were killed in the incident. Of the remaining 21, NIA has identified 14 NSCN-K cadre members who had carried out the ambush.

The request was placed at the meeting of the first India-Myanmar Joint Consultative Committee held in July.

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