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Dreaded Naga Militant Leader Khaplang Dies After Cardiac Arrest in Myanmar

SS Khaplang, chief of the Naga rebel group NSCN-K, who had engineered many attacks on the security forces, including the killing of 18 Army soldiers in Manipur, died late on Friday in the Kachin state of Myanmar. He was 77.

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Updated:June 10, 2017, 7:53 AM IST
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Dreaded Naga Militant Leader Khaplang Dies After Cardiac Arrest in Myanmar
Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang was a Hemi Naga from Myanmar and was based mostly in that country where the outfit maintains several camps.

New Delhi: SS Khaplang, chief of the Naga rebel group NSCN-K, who had engineered many attacks on the security forces, including the killing of 18 Army soldiers in Manipur, died late on Friday in the Kachin state of Myanmar. He was 77.

PTI reported quoting sources that the leader of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), who had been ailing for some time, died after cardiac arrest.

Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang was a Hemi Naga from Myanmar and was based mostly in that country where the outfit maintains several camps, PTI reported.

Since the 1980s, the outfit has engaged in subversive activities, including attacks on Indian security forces, extortion and looting.

The NSCN-K was involved in the killing of 18 Army soldiers in an ambush in Manipur on June 4, 2015.

Following the Manipur ambush in 2015, the Indian Army carried out cross-border raids on NSCN-K camps inside Myanmar killing several militants.

The ambush on the Army convoy was carried out by the group despite it being involved in peace negotiations with an interlocutor of the central government.

Subsequently, the government snapped the dialogue and in September 2015, the NSCN-K was declared as an unlawful organisation for five years.

Born in April 1940 in Waktham village, east of Myanmar's Pangsau Pass, Khaplang joined the Naga nationalist movement as early as 1964 and was one of the key people in the formation of the NSCN. However, Khaplang split and formed his own group NSCN-K in 1988.

He formed the group following differences with the NSCN (IM) leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. Swu died in June 2016 in a Delhi hospital.

Khaplang also entered into a ceasefire with the central government in 1997 but abrogated it on March 28, 2015.

Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) Secretary General Neingulo Krome said the news of Khaplang's sudden demise has come as a "rude shock".

There was no immediate reaction from the rebel group or key tribal bodies, including Naga Hoho and Naga Mothers' Association.

(With PTI inputs)

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