While the central government is yet to take a decision on banning militant outfit NSCN-K, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give an explanation on why the ceasefire between the Indian government and the group was abrogated in March, according to sources.
NSCN-K militants are suspected to be behind the ambush on an Army convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district on June 4, in which 18 soldiers were killed.
The PM had reportedly sought an explanation from Singh after National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval gave a report to the PM on the same issue, in the wake of the Manipur ambush. Rajnath explained to the PM that the ceasefire was not called off by his ministry, said sources. “During the meeting with PM Modi, the Home Minister tried to explain the circumstances under which the ceasefire was abrogated. He told the PM that it was (NSCN-K chief SS) Khaplang who abrogated the ceasefire while the government was willing to renew it,” said a senior government official.
After the ceasefire was abrogated, a series of attacks against security forces were reported from Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
A section of the security establishment is reportedly divided over the issue of imposing a ban on the NSCN-K, even though a Cabinet Note on it was moved by the MHA soon after the strike on militant camps in Myanmar on June 9, carried out by special forces of the Indian Army.
Sources also pointed out that after Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar visited Myanmar last week, the NSA briefed the PM about his trip, but not the MHA.
MHA officials claim that they are still in the dark about details of the NSA’s meeting with Myanmar authorities. They added that there seemed to be no clarity on the future plan of action on the NSCN-K. “We have not been told anything about the meeting NSA had with Myanmar authorities. We are waiting for directions from the PMO,” said a senior official in the MHA.
The Home Ministry had moved a proposal to ban the NSCN-K under Section 1 and 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Section 1 of the UAPA allows action to be taken against any person who commits an offence beyond India and says that the person shall be dealt with in the same manner if the offence was committed in India. Khaplang, who is a resident of Myanmar, has reportedly entered into a truce with the government there and is currently in a hospital in Yangon.
“The NIA has registered a case against NSCN-K but until and unless the group is banned, it cannot take any action against the group’s assets and properties as UAPA provisions clearly state that action can be taken only if the group is banned,” said the official.