How powerful is SS Khaplang the supreme commander of the NSCN-K? The NSCN-K is the same outfit which claimed responsibility for the Manipur ambush in which 18 soldiers of the Indian army were killed.
Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that Khaplang is ageing and is just an ornamental figure in the scheme of things. He is 75 years old and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Myanmar.
This is enough to suggest that he is not really in the thick of things and is controlled by an external force.
Who controls Khaplang?
Khaplang is no doubt a revered figure among the North Eastern militants. The fact that he is a Myanmar national also helps since he is free to live in that country. In fact him being shifted to the hospital recently was quite an open affair and Myanmar had even informed India about the same.
The issue is not Khaplang, but Paresh Baruah, the ULFA chief who has managed to convince Khaplang to act at his behest.
The formation of the United National Liberation Front of West South Asia an umbrella outfit was the first move by Baruah who is currently living under the protection of Chinese NGOs in the Yunnan province.
Khaplang was breaking, Indian Intelligence Bureau officials say. There was a sense of calm and he was willing to speak, but then came a rash decision on March 27 in which Khaplang went ahead and violated a 14 year old cease fire with India.
This was done clearly at Baruah's behest who was keen on forming the umbrella outfit with the NSCN-K, Ulfa-I, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit).
More factions in the NSCN:
The fact that Khaplang let his better senses prevail over him and violate the cease fire agreement with New Delhi was not accepted by all in his outfit. Two members of the NSCN went on to form the NSCN- R or the reformation faction.
The NSCN-R has now decided to take up the cause of the Naga people and have been pointing fingers at Khaplang raising his Myanmar identity. The NSCN-R feels that Khaplang being a Myanmar resident will never raise the concerns of the Naga people.
The NSCN-R has constantly issued statements about how Baruah is controlling Khaplang. These statements clearly indicate that Khaplang is not in control, but is being played by Baruah.
Chinese NGOs control Baruah:
Paresh Baruah as per the Intelligence Bureau is currently at the Yunnan province in China. The Chinese have set up several NGOs which deal with the militants with North East. The NGOs don the role of proxies in the war being waged by China.
It is these NGOs which ensure the steady supply of arms and ammunition to the militants. In fact there are reports that suggest that the NGOs have played a major role in helping these militants set up hideouts in Myanmar.
Moreover there is a faction within the Myanmar army which the Indian army would never trust largely because they are influenced by the militants and the NGOs from China.