NSCN(IM) eyeing control of Karbi hills

March 25: At a time when Assam is roiling with protests against NSCN(IM) supremo Thuingaleng Muivah’s recent claim that the Government of India had recognized the legitimate right of the Naga peoples and had secured their future though the historic Framework Agreement, three cadres of the outfit were arrested along the Assam-Nagaland border on Friday.
The developments hint at a possible bid by Naga rebels to establish control in Rengma-dominated areas of Karbi Anglong hill district which had earlier in December 2013 witnessed a series of bloody turf battles between the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) and Rengma Naga Hills Protection Force (RNHPF) for territorial control and major share of the extortion pie.
The KPLT militants, who posed a major threat in this hill district, have been losing ground with majority of the cadres either being arrested or killed in anti-insurgency operations. Peace has been restored in the district, and any failure to check militants’ infiltration will further give trigger another round of armed conflict here.
The three ultras — Ato Rengma, Ating Muisao and Hotobi Rengma — were nabbed by personnel of E/155 BN CRPF while conducting a routine check of a passenger vehicle plying to and fro between Dimapur and Golaghat. They were arrested along with nine bullets of 12-bore rifle, many pairs of camouflage outfits and substantial incriminatory documents reportedly brought from their Hebron CHQ, Nagaland.
The trio was bound for Jangfai, a remote Rengma Naga village in the hills of Karbi Anglong. Rengmas are one among the 17 major Naga tribes and are mostly settled in the Chokihola area of Bokajan subdivision in East Karbi Anglong. This area falls within the NSCN (IM)’s claim for a united homeland comprising of all Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and parts of Myanmar.

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