Developed By: iNFOTYKE
New Delhi: Naga insurgent group NSCN(K), which abrogated the ceasefire agreement with India and perpetrated a string of attacks, including killing of 18 soldiers in an ambush in Manipur in June, has been banned for five years.
The decision to outlaw the outfit was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The NSCN(K) responsible for explosions, ambushes and bombings has been declared as an unlawful organisation for a period of five years,” Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
After reneging from the ceasefire pact in March, the group led by its chairman S S Khaplang, a Myanmarese national, forged ties with several other insurgent outfits, including the ULFA faction headed by Paresh Barua, in May, and formed United Liberation Front of South East Asia.
The ban came days after the National Investigation Agency, probing the June 4 ambush in Manipur which left 18 armymen dead, declared a reward of Rs 7 lakh for information about Khaplang, believed to be in Taga, a border town in Myanmar, and Rs 10 lakh for one of his deputies Niki Sumi. NSCN(K) has several camps across the border, a few of which were attacked by Indians Army commandos.
NSCN (IM), with which the government signed an accord on August 3 to bring an end to over 6 decades-long armed movement, has been demanding a ban on the rival outfit. The two have been locked in a fratricidal conflict for long. A delegation of Naga civil society, has already gone to Myanmar to persuade Khaplang to come to the negotiating table.
“This has been done based on objective evidence after elaborate considerations,” Prasad said. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the NSCN-K was declared a banned organisation after deliberations and following due legal process. Prasad said the NDA government wants to have dialogue with all insurgent groups in the North East as per a policy announced by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
There were differences within the government over declaring the NSCN(K) an outlawed organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. While the Home Ministry officials had been insisting on banning it, government-appointed interlocutor R N Ravi was reportedly in favour of restarting negotiations with the group. (PTI)