The most feared Naga rebel leader, S h a n g w a n g Shangyung Khaplang, who waged a bush war with the Indian state died on 10th June 2017. The death of this elusive rebel considered to be the godfather of northeast insurgency movement by many, did not come during any surgical strike as India would have wanted it but due to prolonged illness. He was 77.
Khaplang, or Baba as he was fondly called by his associates, had been a force to reckon with, without whom, the momentum of the insurgency movement in the region, could not have gained the potency it has acquired today.
Khaplang not only sheltered the different insurgent groups of the northeast, including the United Liberation front of Asom, ULFA (anti-talk faction) in the Sagaing division of Myanmar but is believed to have operated a huge arms network using his strong Chinese and Kachin links. Khaplang was a Myanmarese Naga, belonging to the Hemi Naga tribe. During British occupation, the contiguous areas between India and Myanmar, particularly the Sagaing division and the northeast region of India were under British control. The creation of border between India and Myanmar as per the bilateral agreement between the countries after independence during Nehru Nu’s prime minister-ship divided the Nagas politically into the two countries.