Naga leader Isak Chisi Swu passes away in Delhi hospital

June 28, 2016 02:51 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - New Delhi

Isak Chisi Swu.

Isak Chisi Swu.

Naga leader Isak Chisi Swu (86), who led one of the worst insurgencies in the North-East for almost three decades, died at a Delhi hospital on Tuesday of multiple organ failure.

Mr. Swu was a founder member of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), which signed a framework agreement with the Centre on August 3 last year to find a permanent solution to the vexed Naga issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences. “Mr. Swu will be remembered for his historic role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace,” he said in a tweet.

A big loss

Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chief R.N Ravi, who is also the interlocutor for Naga peace talks, told The Hindu that it was Mr. Swu who floated the idea of an agreement with the government in March last year.

“Swu played a historic role in the framework agreement. It was his idea. His departure is a big loss. For the last several months he has not been actively participating in the talks as he was in hospital. Sometime in March-April, he said now that we have a fundamental understanding on core issues, why don’t we sign the agreement?” Mr. Ravi said.

He said Mr. Swu gave the final shape to the framework agreement in June 2015.

Greater Nagalim

Thuingaleng Muivah, the outfit’s general secretary, signed the framework agreement on behalf of the Naga outfit with interlocutor R.N Ravi in the presence of the Prime Minister last year. “After the framework was signed, he continued to participate in discussions whenever his health permitted him,” said Mr. Ravi.

NSCN (I-M), the largest group representing the Nagas, has been demanding a “Greater Nagalim,” or a contiguous land for the Nagas, spanning Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram.

The Naga peace accord is yet to be given a final shape and the contents of the framework agreement have not been publicised by the government. The outfit has demanded a separate flag and passport, which the government has ruled out.

Last rites in home town

Mr. Swu, who belonged to the Sumi tribe, hailed from the Zunheboto district of Nagaland. His body will be taken to his native place on Wednesday for the last rites.

Mr. Swu, along with Thuingaleng Muivah, formed the group in 1980 opposing the Shillong Accord signed by the then Naga National Council (NNC) with the Central government for bringing peace to Nagaland. Over the years, NSCN-IM has been accused of indulging in killings, extortion and other subversive activities. Its persistent demand for separation from the country led to a military clampdown on the group.

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