Following the ambush and killing of 18 soldiers allegedly orchestrated by the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) in Manipur last Tuesday, the government on Friday initiated proceedings to once again ban the organisation.
A Home Ministry has prepared a note for inclusion of the organisation on the banned list under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The Union Cabinet has to approve it, officials said.
The earlier ban on the NSCN(K) was revoked in 2001 after it declared a ceasefire with the government. The organisation withdrew from the truce this March, which resulted in renewed attacks.
S.S. Khaplang, along with Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, had formed the NSCN after revolting against the Shillong Accord of November 1975. In 1988, Khaplang split away to form the NSCN(K).
Doval to visit Myanmar National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will visit Myanmar on June 17 to discuss the possibilities of “further joint action” against Northeast insurgents, officials said.
After the war of words between political parties over Army operations on insurgent camps in Myanmar, Union Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday. Mr. Rathore, on Tuesday, called the operation a “much-needed decision” by the Prime Minister and an “extremely bold decision”, adding that “it involved our special forces crossing the border and going deep into another country”. This created a political storm with Opposition parties criticising the government for “chest-thumping”.
The government, which got into a damage-control mode, has instructed officials not to comment on the issue, informed sources said. Discussion of operational details in public had forced Myanmar to deny the conduct of operations on its soil, and several experts said this did not augur well with the very nature of covert operations.
Speaking after of the operation, former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash said that special operations, by their very nature, were “supposed to be kept under wraps”, but in this case, “excessive publicity and public ‘chest-thumping’ has harmed national security as well as international relations; just as it happened in the case of the Coast Guard high-seas interception.” All this, he added, was reminiscent of the “public posturing that occurred in the aftermath of Pokhran II and speaks of naivety at the political level”.
On the other hand, former Army chief Shankar Roychowdhury expressed concern that the more important question of “why NSCN(K) decided to break this truce after all these years and carry out the ambush” was lost in the whole debate.
But on the operation itself, the general felt that covert operations need not be kept covert “depending on what the effect the government wants of it and what message it wants to send across”.
On Pakistan’s assertions that it was not Myanmar, Gen. Roychowdhury agreed that Pakistan was not Myanmar. However he added, “If we can do it in one instance, we can do it in another. As a contingency, it has to be planned differently.”
(With inputs from PTI)
(This article has been corrected for a factual error.)