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'NSCN-K abrogated ceasefire under Paresh Baruah's influence'

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, July 6 (IANS): The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) abrogated the ceasefire deal with the Indian government under the influence of ULFA leader Paresh Baruah, according to two former leaders of the NSCN-K.

Wangtin Naga and P. Tikhak, leaders of a new organisation called NSCN (Reformation), said that it was at United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) leader Baruah's instance that NSCN-K leader S.S. Khaplang expelled them from the organisation as kilonsers (ministers) and abrogated the ceasefire deal.

In an interview with the Northeast Sun magazine, Naga and Tikhak said that they were shocked to learn of their expulsion on March 27, the same day that they were attending the ceasefire meeting with the Indian government at Chumukedima in Nagaland.

�It was a real shock to us. As usual we had to attend the ceasefire meeting on March 27 which was fixed about 20 days ago. You know we keep on having these ceasefire review meetings after a gap of every two or three month. So to attend the meeting on March 27, I started from Mon (in Nagaland) on March 26 with a plan to spend the night at Jorhat (in Assam),� Wangtin said.

�Soon after crossing the Nagaland-Assam border gate I received a phone call from an army officer on my mobile who informed me that our boys have carried out a shootout in Kohima and a bomb blast in Wokha. It really shocked me and I told the officer that I do not know. That army officer did not believe me and accused me by saying, 'Your boys have done it. How can you say that you don’t know?'�

He said that he was intercepted on the way at a place called Sonari and was kept in army custody for around six hours before being released at the intervention of the Indian home ministry.

The next day, March 27, he said he was driving down to Dimapur for the meeting when he came to know that the NSCN-K had fired at one captain of the Assam Rifles on the orders of Niki Sema, a �lieutenant general� under Khaplang �to complicate the situation more�.

According to Wangtin, when he and Tikhak reached Chumukedima, everybody present there from the Indian side were initially not willing to listen to them or conduct the meeting because they said that the ceasefire had already broken down.

�Tikhak and myself, we tried to defend Khaplang and told them that Khaplang might not have committed these acts on the security forces, that he might not have authorised anybody to fire upon Indian security forces. I am the ceasefire convenor and Tikhak being the member of the committee, we would have been the first ones to be informed if Khaplang had wished to break the ceasefire,� he said.

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