NSCN (IM) divided over top commander

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GUWAHATI, November 16 (Asian Age): Serious differences have cropped up in the rank and file of the NSCN (IM) over the appointment of new self-styled commander-in-chief of the outfit. Disclosing that NSCN general secretary Th Muivah was pressing for the appointment of Phungthing Shimrey as commander in chief to replace Markson Tangkhul, security sources in the home ministry told this newspaper the move of the NSCN leaders to appoint a fifth-rank leader as C-in-C has created dissension among the leaders of the outfit in Nagaland.

The home ministry is worried as dissension over the appointment of C-in-C may result in a spilt in the organisation thereby affecting the ongoing peace process for which a consensus among Naga groups was necessary. Pointing out that the term of present military commander Markson Tangkhul is going to expire soon, a security source said the top leadership was ignoring the claim of four leaders, including deputy commander-in-chief Ramkthing Tangkhul, Anthony Shimrey and Joshwa Tangkhul in selection of new C-in-C.

Fearing it may lead to serious infighting, sources said NSCN leaders have rejected names of leaders who rank high in seniority on the pretext of ignoring Naga culture. 

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