DIMAPUR, June 8 (IANS): One of Northeast India's influential and oldest tribal separatist group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) has expelled the group's chief from the outfit for alleged 'autocratic' style of functioning.
A meeting of the self-styled members of parliament of the NSCN at their mobile headquarters near Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial hub, first removed the septuagenarian chairman S.S. Khaplang and later expelled him from the outfit.
The decision to expel Khaplang came days after he removed the outfit's self-styled commander-in-chief 'general' Khole Konyak from his post.
"The meeting deliberated on the unceremonious and unconstitutional action of chairman S.S. Khaplang who, without the consent and approval of the 'national assembly', removed one of the senior-most freedom fighters in South East Asia and a widely respected Naga political figure 'general', Khole Konyak, commander-in-chief of the Naga army (the outfit's armed wing)," an NSCN statement said.
"Every single member of the august house with raised right hand demanded expulsion and impeachment of S.S. Khaplang. And finally he was expelled."
Konyak was nominated as the acting chairman of the NSCN.
The NSCN had split into two factions in 1988 following ideological differences.
The two NSCN groups, one led by guerrilla leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah (NSCN-IM), and the other faction, until recently headed by S.S. Khaplang (NSCN-Khaplang), have been engaged in a bitter turf war for territorial supremacy with an estimated 500 cadres killed in the past decade.
The two factions are also operating a ceasefire with New Delhi - the NSCN-IM is currently holding talks with the Indian government after entering into a truce in 1997.
The Khaplang faction of the NSCN is yet to begin formal peace talks although it entered into a ceasefire in 2001.
Khaplang, since the NSCN split in 1988, was operating out of Myanmar and never visited Nagaland.