GUWAHATI, Dec 23 (agencies): Riding close on the heels of the first ever formal peace talks between ULFA’s pro talk faction and the Centre, the Commander-in-chief of the banned outfit Paresh Baruahh, who leads the anti-talk camp, has hit out at his one-time ‘close friend’, general secretary of NSCN (I-M), Th. Muivah accusing him of disintegrating the Northeast insurgent movements by siding with the Indian Government and, thereby, failing to keep his promise made to the people of Nagaland.
The NSCN (I-M) has been involved in a peace parley with New Delhi since 1997. Union Home Ministry insiders have confirmed to Tehelka that a new settlement of the long-continuing Naga conflict will be achieved before Christmas. In such a scenario a snub from Paresh Baruah will leave Muivah and his team in utter discomfort.
“Muivah is responsible for the disintegration of Northeast insurgent struggle for sovereignty. The Government for long has been taking advantage of the discord among various outfits of the region.
Way back in 1985, ULFA has proposed to NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah to initiate a unity move among Northeast rebel groups since ULFA feared that Government will try to divide and encourage fratricidal killings. But Muivah sided with the Government of India.
Thus Muivah has failed to keep his promise to the people of Nagaland,” reads the statement issued by Arunoday Dohutia, press secretary of Paresh Baruah led anti-talk faction of ULFA.
The statement further referred to the October 10 incident where there was a huge gun battle between the NSCN (I-M) and Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) in Manipur. Baruah faction feels Muivah’s decision to go alone and not unite the various rebel outfits of Northeast had dealt a blow to the survival of the underground insurgent movements in the region and, in the process, he has betrayed other rebel outfits and people of Northeast.
Independent watchers feel that by issuing such statements the anti-talk faction of ULFA is making a mistake.
“We have come to know from surrendered ULFA cadres that once Paresh was fond of Muivah but friction developed between the two outfits after Paresh became close to the rival faction of Khaplang…. ULFA and NSCN once got engaged in a gun fight over control of a corridor in NC hills,” a senior military intelligence officer said.
NSCN (I-M) top leader Anthony Shimray, who was in charge of the outfit’s arms procurement, was hand-in-gloves with Baruah before his arrest in Nepal, Tehelka reports stated.