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NSCN (K) chairman SS Khaplang no more

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 10, 2017 12:37 am
Chairman of NSCN(K) SS Khaplang (file photo)

Kohima, June 9 (EMN): Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang, better known as SS Khaplang, the chief of the banned Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland -Khaplang (NSCN-K) group is said to have passed away Friday evening at around 7:30 p.m. at the central headquarter of the NSCN (K) in Taka, Myanmar. He was 77.

Khaplang was reportedly undergoing medical treatment for chronic diabetes for the past several months. On Friday evening, he was said to have suffered a cardiac arrest after dinner and was rushed to a hospital in Taka where he breathed his last.

While official confirmation is yet to be made by his outfit about the demise, Army sources confirmed that Khaplang died after suffering a stroke. The Myanmar-based Council of Naga Affairs (CNA) has also confirmed of the separatist leader’s death.

Born in April 1940 in Waktham village, east of Myanmar’s Pangsau Pass, Khaplang hails from Hemi Naga tribe of Myanmar and is the youngest of 10 siblings. He also leads the recently formed United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), an amalgamation of separatist groups formed jointly by the United Liberation Front of Assam, the NSCN (K), the Kamatapur Liberation Organization, and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.

Formed in 1988 after a breakout from the NSCN (IM), Khaplang’s NSCN-K, which reneged from a 14 years-long ceasefire in March 2015, has been involved in series of attacks in tandem with some other militant groups under the banner of the UNLFW.

Following his death, speculations are already on as to who would take over the helms of the group. Although a few names are being suggested, nothing is clear at the moment as NSCN (K) leaders could not be reached for any comment.

NPMHR, NMA condole

In a condolence, secretary of Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Neingulo Krome said the sudden demise of SS Khaplang, chairman of the NSCN (K), has come as a rude shock at a time when the Naga people are extremely in need of elderly and experienced wisdom of Naga national movement leaders to set right the course of the Naga destiny, which are being misinterpreted and re-interpreted in the present day scenario of internal conflicts.

He said NPMHR will ‘always treasure and cherish’ Khaplang’s commitment to do what the upcoming Naga generation wants as the ‘Naga National movement is for the wellbeing of future Naga generation who should live in dignity and peace.’

He prayed that the Almighty God will grant strength and courage to all his dear and near ones and the entire rank and file of the NSCN (K)/GPRN to bear the loss in their hour of pain and grief.

Meanwhile, Naga Mothers’ Association has also termed the demise of Khaplang as a “sad day for those who walk for peace.” Describing his demise as a ‘great loss’ to the efforts of peace across borders, the association conveyed its earnest condolences to the bereaved family and also to the leaders of NSCN (K).

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 10, 2017 12:37:02 am