The rise and fall of Th. Muivah in Nagaland (Opinion)

BY HOTOVI SEMA
Thuingaleng Muivah (86) is referred to as master betrayer right from his joining NNC in 1964. He is a Tangkhul Naga from Somdal (Shongran) village in Ukhrul district of Manipur.

There have been two parallel groups in NNC – one, the group led by T. Sakhrie supporting Naga solution under constitution and the other, the group led by hard-core Phizo dreaming complete secession of Nagaland from the country.

Sakhrie was the founder Secretary of NNC and Phizo was its third Chairman, both from same village – Khonoma. In 1955, T.Sakhrie, J.B.Jasokie and Sillie resigned from NNC due to differences from Phizo.

Phizo got T.Sakhrie killed in January 1956. J.B. Jasokie went hiding and surfaced when Assam Rifles guarded him.

Phizo escaped to London in December 1956 under the patronage of Rev. Michael Scott – the British missionary via East Pakistan now Bangladesh to avoid arrest.

Th. Muivah joined NNC in 1964 and became its General Secretary in 1965. When Lal Bahadur Shastri was Prime Minister of India, the Ceasefire Agreement (Agreement for Suspension of Operation – AGSOP) was signed by Vishnu Sahay, Governor of Nagaland on behalf of government of India while Zashei Huire, Biseto Medom and L. Zhenito signed on behalf of NNC/FGN on September 6,1964. Indira Gandhi took over charge as Prime Minister of India in Jan 1966 and held six rounds of talks at Prime Ministerial level. She was almost prepared to give anything less sovereignty. But it was Muivah who betrayed the dialogue. And thus the ceasefire was abrogated in 1967. The security forces chased the Muivah’s militants thereafter.

The leaders like Dr. Hokishe Sema, Dr. SC Jamir, Chief Minister T.N.Angami and a group of sensible leaders from Nagaland advised the Muivah’s ‘mad’ men to come to senses and understand the furious Indira if they want to save their lives. The liberal group of NNC angry on Muivah for killing T.Sakhrie and threatening liberal leaders like JB Jasokie etc. were spying for security forces against Muivah’s gun men. Hundreds of hard-core militants lick dust. Hundreds of them were caught. Still, hundreds of them surrendered. In 1972, NNC was banned. The extensive flush-out operation was started by army. NNC was almost finished.

In 1975, Shillong Accord was signed between Governor LP Singh and top-ranking NNC leaders including none less than Kevi Yallie – Phizo’s soul brother. It was agreed to find the solution under the constitution. Muivah betrayed again. He disagreed with the Shillong Accord 1975 and defected from NNC and formed National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1980 with Maoism as its political philosophy. Prior to this he was shouting “hallelujah” and “Nagaland for Christ” at the top of his voice more than a missionary. He converted Nagas in American Christianity at gun point to establish Christian solidarity with America, Britain and other Christian countries and, thereby, extracted maximum advantage from them.

After defection, the Church was with Phizo group of NNC and Muivah adopted Chinese communism (Maoism). Now, same Muivah started shouting in same pitch – “Religion is a poisonous pill” and “Nagaland for Communist”. On hearing this from once faithful missionary Muivah; USA, UK and patron Christian countries were alarmed.

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The string of Nagaland Church was pulled by USA and UK combine for not controlling derailed and distrustful Muivah. The Nagaland Church realised the grave danger of Muivah having been converted as Chinese Communist. To save the face, the Church opposed the Muivah’s NSCN and there was a big fight between NSCN (armed wing of Chinese Communist) and NNC (armed wing of Church) in 1980 when Muivah returned from China along with his AK- 47 wielding rapacious militants.

Mon and Tuensang were the battlefield of NNC and NSCN representing Church and Communist respectively. More than 300 churches were burnt and more than 100 reverends and missionaries were assassinated by NSCN within few months in Mon and Tuensang districts of Nagaland. The security forces were in alert position. The league of western Christian countries led by USA and UK were bemused. They disowned Muivah and his communist cronies. Indian jawans kept on watching this snake-mongoose fight.

Muivah was cleverly placing his Tangkhul confidants at all the important posts of NSCN and its armed wing. He murdered thousands of non-Tangkhul innocent Naga people from Nagaland including prominent leaders in NNC, FGN (armed wing of NNC) and political leaders for not supporting his Chinese agenda. He never touched any Tangkhul person – prominent or ordinary. For seven times, Muivah attempted on the life of Dr. Hokishe Sema – a giant Naga leader who brought Nagaland from Foreign Ministry to Home Ministry in 1972 and surrendered over 2000 terrorists in same year including their leaders with their Chinese weapons.

Dr. SC Jamir – another Naga leader par excellence and an architect of modern Nagaland who made Muivah’s NSCN lick dust, was fatally attacked four times by NSCN terrorists. Fortunately, both the Naga leaders – Dr. Hokishe Sema and Dr. SC Jamir escaped Muivah’s bullets all the times.

There was a simmering anger against whole of the Tangkhul community for Muivah’s selective killings of non-Tangkhul leaders. Angamis were killed in Kohima, Aos were killed in Mokokchung, Semas were killed in Zunheboto, Konyaks were killed in Mon and Sangtam/Chang/Phom/Yimchunger were killed in Tuensang and Chakhesangs were killed in Phek – their home districts. By whom? Tangkhuls – the outsider community from Manipur causing havoc in Nagaland.

During the year 2000, a quit notice was served to all the Tangkhuls living in Nagaland by Nagas of Nagaland. Many Tangkhuls were killed, many ran away from Nagaland to save their lives and others remained indoor in their houses for months.

In the year 2001, Wangrung Tangkhul village – 3 km from Dimapur town was surrounded by over 5000 Sema Naga public in broad day light and burnt down all the fifty Tangkhul houses of the village. Scores of NSCN armed leaders ran away without firing a single bullet. Almost all the Tangkhul houses – though pucca, were destroyed, most of them fully, few partially. The Tangkhul ladies ran helter – skelter to escape the wrath of attacking Sema Nagas. Tension brewed throughout Nagaland. Muivah was in the centre of this social chaos. He was cursed by one and all. The special services were organised in all the churches to pray for saving Nagaland from Maoist Muivah.

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When Muivah found himself ditched by Church and Christian countries and China was not able to help NSCN upto his expectation, he retreated from Maoism and started shouting “hallelujah” again with a Bible in one hand and AK-47 in the other.

A Tangkhul reverend of Tangkhul Baptist Church Kohima was perturbed to notice the terrorist image of Tangkhul community because of few Tangkhul leaders like Th. Muivah and VS Atem – army chief of NSCN-IM. He voiced his concern while speaking in Tangkhul church Kohima. It was reported in Nagaland media next day. This was enough to infuriate Muivah. Within a week, that Tangkhul reverend was ambushed on Kohima town – Kohima Science College road. He was badly wounded. Thank God that he was a Tangkhul person otherwise he would have been killed.

In 2004, there was big assembly of his supporters in his Hebron camp. People from Manipur were also brought over in dozens of buses. While speaking in the congregation, Muivah chanted “hallelujah” and “praise the Lord” every five minutes. The Communist Muivah shouted repeatedly – Praise the Lord, Thank the Lord. The people in the assembly were stunned to notice his hippocracy and Father Thomas Lotha could not hold him back. He stood up and told Muivah – “Bible and bullet cannot go together. Either give up violence and preach Bible or continue your path of violence and give up Bible preaching. Both cannot go together”. Muivah did not expect this. He remained speechless. This happened when over 5000 people had assembled and Muivah and his gang were parroting sovereignty — sovereignty —sovereignty. At the end, people left Hebron camp disheartened and disenchanted.

In June 2001, he managed Central Government and got ceasefire extended in Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and 18 Meitei people were killed by police force when the Imphal town was filled with opposing Manipuris and the sea of subjects went violent. Manipuris including Tangkhuls cursed Muivah for this genocide.

When the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by him – Muivah and R.N. Ravi, the interlocutor, there was jubilation in Nagaland. Naga people thought that now the final solution is sure to come because Prime Minister Narendra Modi was involved along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Ajit Doval.

After 5 years of wait and 23 years of talk, when Central Government has started moving to solve the problem, once for all, the master betrayer Muivah has again started playing trick and trying to sabotage the final solution. He has started spreading canard against interlocutor R.N. Ravi. He has written to Prime Minister with a request to replace Ravi from the post of Interlocutor because Ravi is the man whom Muivah fears most. This step of Muivah is severely condemned by all section of Nagas and several Naga organisations have also written to Prime Minister to retain Ravi as Interlocutor. Till the date, Ravi still holds the post.

(Hotovi Sema is independent researcher from Dimapur, Nagaland)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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