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The Kohima Conundrum

The long genesis of the Naga conflict and the various bids at a permanent solution

The Kohima Conundrum
Graphic by Prashant Chaudhary
The Kohima Conundrum
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

The Naga Conflic

  • 1947 Agreement between Assam governor Akbar Hydari and NNC
  • 1951 NNC ‘referendum’ claims 99% for independence
  • 1960 Agreement  with Naga People’s Convention for creating the state of Nagaland
  • 1980 The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) formed
  • 1988 NSCN splits into two, NSCN (Khaplang) and NSCN (Isak & Muivah)
  • 1997 Rajesh Pilot meets NSCN (I-M) leaders in Thailand; they meet PM H.D. Deve Gowda in Geneva
  • 1998 Swu and Muivah meet PM Vajpayee in Paris. Indian army extends ceasefire to include the NSCN(K).
  • 2001 Government of India and NSCN(K) agree to a ceasefire
  • 2011 NSCN(K) splits. Khaplang, a Burmese national, asked not to interfere.
  • Mar 2015 NSCN(K) abrogates ceasefire agreement

***

The spurt In Violence

  • April 2 NSCN(K) ambush army convoy in Tirap district, Arunachal Pradesh, and kills three Army jawans
  • May 3 Another attack in which nine Assam Rifles personnel killed in Mon dist, Nagaland
  • May 6 One Assam Rifles soldier killed in Kohima
  • June Eighteen armymen of the Dogra regiment killed in an ambush in Chandel, Manipur
  • June 7 Another attack on Assam Rifles in Arunachal Pradesh, no casualties

***

Experts Talk Of Five Mistakes

  1. Misunderstanding the nature, causes of insurgency in the Northeast
  2. Clubbing all rebel groups together while only a few of them have demanded independence
  3. Believing that there can be a military solution to the insurgency
  4. Failure to link counter-insurgency strategies to creating jobs and proactively ending the alienation of the Northeast
  5. Failure in taking neigbouring countries into confidence

Striking Questions

  • Why publicise details of the covert operation?
  • Was it hot pursuit, preemptive or punitive?
  • Inside Myanmar or “along the border”?
  • 40 minutes or 13 hours?
  • No hard evidence of the covert strike so far
  • Was Myanmar informed before or after ops?
  • Were tweets #ManipurReve­nge & #56InchRocks authorised?
  • PR coup or PR overdrive?
  • Risk of the strike being taken to international fora
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