The Muivah Factor In Nagaland Insurgency



THUINGALENG Muivah (86) is referred to as master betrayer right from his joining the NNC in 1964. He is a Tangkhul Naga from Somdal (Shongran) village in Ukhrul district of Manipur.

There have been two parallel groups in the NNC – one group was led by T Sakhrie supporting Naga solution under the Indian Constitution and the other one was led by  Phizo dreaming complete secession of Nagaland from the country.

Sakhrie was the founder secretary of the NNC and Phizo was its third chairman. Both of them hailed from same village – Khonoma. In 1955, Sakhrie, J B Jasokie and Sillie resigned from the NNC due to differences with Phizo.

Phizo got Sakhrie killed in January 1956.  Jasokie went hiding and surfaced when Assam Rifles guarded him. Phizo escaped to London in December 1956 under the patronage of   British missionary Rev Michael Scott via East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, to avoid arrest.

Th Muivah joined the NNC in 1964 and became its general secretary in 1965. When Lal Bahadur Shastri was prime minister, the ceasefire agreement was signed on September 6, 1964. Indira Gandhi took over charge as prime minister in January 1966 and held six rounds of talks at prime ministerial level.

She was almost prepared to give anything less sovereignty. But it was Muivah who betrayed the dialogue. And thus the ceasefire was abrogated in 1967. The security forces chased the Muivah’s militants thereafter.

The leaders like Dr Hokishe Sema, Dr S C Jamir, T N  Angami and a group of sensible leaders from Nagaland advised the Muivah’s ‘madmen’ to come to senses and understand Indira Gandhi if they want to save their lives. The liberal group of NNC angry on Muivah for killing Sakhrie and threatening liberal leaders like Jasokie and others were spying for security forces against Muivah’s gunmen. Hundreds of hard-core militants licked dust. Hundreds of them were caught.

In 1972, the NNC was banned. The extensive flush-out operation was started by the Indian Army. The NNC was almost obliterated.

In 1975, Shillong Accord was signed between governor L P Singh and top-ranking NNC leaders including none less than Kevi Yallie – Phizo’s soul brother. It was agreed to find the solution under the Constitution. Muivah betrayed again. He disagreed with the Shillong Accord and defected from the NNC and formed National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980 with Maoism as its political philosophy.

He converted Nagas in American Christianity at gunpoint to establish Christian solidarity with America, Britain and other Christian countries and, thereby, extracted maximum advantage from them.

After defection, the Church was with Phizo group of the NNC and Muivah adopted Chinese communism (Maoism). Now, same Muivah started shouting in same pitch – ‘Religion is a poisonous pill’ and ‘Nagaland for Communist’. On hearing this from once faithful missionary Muivah, the US, the UK and patron Christian countries were alarmed.

The string of Nagaland Church was pulled by the US and the UK combine for not controlling derailed and distrustful Muivah. The Nagaland Church realised the grave danger of Muivah having been converted as Chinese Communist. To save the face, the Church opposed the Muivah’s NSCN and there was a big fight between NSCN (armed wing of Chinese Communist) and NNC (armed wing of Church) in 1980 when Muivah returned from China along with his AK-47 wielding rapacious militants.

Mon and Tuensang were the battlefield of NNC and NSCN representing Church and Communist respectively. More than 300 churches were burnt and more than 100 reverends and missionaries were assassinated by the NSCN within few months in Mon and Tuensang districts of Nagaland. The league of western Christian countries led by the US and the UK were bemused. They disowned Muivah and his Communist cronies.

Muivah was cleverly placing his Tangkhul confidants at all the important posts of the NSCN and its armed wing. He got murdered thousands of non-Tangkhul innocent Naga people from Nagaland including prominent leaders in the NNC, the  FGN (armed wing of NNC) and political leaders for not supporting his Chinese agenda. He never touched any Tangkhul person. For seven times, Muivah attempted on the life of Dr Hokishe Sema – a giant Naga leader who brought Nagaland from the foreign ministry to the home ministry in 1972 and surrendered over 2000 terrorists in same year.

Dr Jamir, another Naga leader par excellence and an architect of modern Nagaland who made Muivah’s NSCN lick dust, was fatally attacked four times by NSCN terrorists.

There was a simmering anger against whole of the Tangkhul community for Muivah’s selective killings of non-Tangkhul leaders. Angamis were killed in Kohima, Aos were killed in Mokokchung, Semas were killed in Zunheboto, Konyaks were killed in Mon and Sangtams, Changs, Phoms, Yimchungers were killed in Tuensang and Chakhesangs were killed in Phek by Tangkhuls – the outsider community from Manipur – causing havoc in Nagaland.

During the year 2000, a quit notice was served to all the Tangkhuls living in Nagaland by Nagas of Nagaland. Many Tangkhuls were killed; many ran away from Nagaland to save their lives and others remained indoors for months.

In the year 2001, Wangrung Tangkhul village was surrounded by over 5000 Sema Nagas in broad daylight and burnt down all the 50 Tangkhul houses of the village.

Tension brewed throughout Nagaland. Muivah was in the centre of this social chaos. He was cursed by one and all. The special services were organised in all the churches to pray for saving Nagaland from Maoist Muivah. When Muivah found himself ditched by Church and Christian countries and China was not able to help NSCN up to his expectation, he retreated from Maoism and started shouting ‘hallelujah’ again with a Bible in one hand and AK-47 in the other.

A Tangkhul reverend of Tangkhul Baptist Church Kohima was perturbed to notice the terrorist image of Tangkhul community because of few Tangkhul leaders like Muivah and V S Atem – ‘army’ chief of NSCN-IM. He voiced his concern while speaking in Tangkhul church Kohima. It was reported in Nagaland media next day. This was enough to infuriate Muivah. Within a week, that Tangkhul reverend was ambushed in Kohima. He was badly wounded.

In June 2001, Muivah managed the central government and got ceasefire extended in Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur and 18 Meitei people were killed by police when Imphal was filled with opposing Manipuris and the sea of subjects went violent.

When the framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by him – Muivah and R N Ravi, the interlocutor, there was jubilation in Nagaland. Naga people thought that now the final solution is sure to come because Prime Minister Narendra Modi was involved along with the then home minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Ajit Doval.

After five  years of wait and 23 years of talk when the central government has started moving to solve the problem, once for all, the master betrayer Muivah has again started playing trick and trying to sabotage the final solution. He has started spreading canard against Ravi. He has written to the Prime Minister with a request to replace Ravi from the post of Interlocutor because Ravi is the man whom Muivah fears the most. This step of Muivah is severely condemned by all sections of Nagas and several Naga organisations have also written to Modi to retain Ravi as Interlocutor. Till the date, Ravi still holds the post.          IANS