Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of NSCN(IM) that has been holding serious peace negotiations with New Delhi, has stated that his group had forgiven NSCN(K) chairman Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang for “all the political mistakes and crimes he had committed”. “Based on the declaration made by our former chairman late Isak Chisi Swu on forgiveness and reconciliation, we have forgiven SS Khaplang of all the political mistakes and crimes he had committed, however grave they might be, in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” a condolence message signed by Muivah and issued on Saturday said.
Muivah, who was inducted into the then Naga National Council (NNC) by A Z Phizo in 1964, had spent 24 years together with Khaplang in the Naga movement, until the two, along with Swu, moved out of the NNC by calling the Shillong Accord of 1975 a sellout. While the trio formed the NSCN in 1980 with Swu as its chairman and Khaplang as vice-chairman, they soon fell out, and landed in a factional war in 1988 in which over 100 supporters of Muivah and Swu were killed. Muivah himself had a narrow escape, and as he, together with Swu formed the NSCN(IM), the other faction led by Khaplang came to be known as NSCN(K).
Since then the two factions have been at loggerheads, leading to violence in which hundreds of men on both sides were killed. The division in the NSCN also affected peace negotiations with the Government of India, which still has a worry that signing a final peace agreement with one faction might not bring lasting peace in the Naga hills.