Politics

Naga Insurgent Leader Isak Chishi Swu Passes Away

File photo of Isak Chishi Swu speaking at a political rally. Seated behind him is Th. Muivah. Credit: PTI

File photo of Isak Chishi Swu speaking at a political rally. Seated behind him is Th. Muivah. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Naga militant leader Isak Chishi Swu, who led a bloody insurgency in the northeast for over three decades, died in New Delhi on June 28 following multi-organ failure.

Nagaland government spokesperson Kuolie Mere said that the 87-year-old chairman of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) had been undergoing treatment for almost a year at a private hospital in south Delhi, where he breathed his last around noon.

Swu, who belonged to the Sumi tribe, hailed from the Zunheboto district of Nagaland. His body will be taken to his native place on June 29 for last rites.

Swu along with the NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah formed the group in 1980 opposing the Shillong Accord signed by the then Naga National Council (NNC) with the Centre for bringing peace in Nagaland.

Over the years, the NSCN-IM had been accused of indulging in killings, extortion and other subversive activities. Its persistent demand for separation from the country led to military clamp down on the group. In 1997, the NSCN-IM entered into a truce with the Centre, for peace in Nagaland and since then had been continuing dialogue with Centre’s emissaries.

In August last year, the NSCN-IM signed a framework agreement with the government which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “historic” step. The pact was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh and national security adviser Ajit Doval and government’s interlocutor R. N. Ravi at the prime minister’s residence in New Delhi.

The pact was signed after over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed.

Swu joined the NNC in the 1950s and served it in different capacities till its split in 1980.