The National Investigation Agency has claimed that a “China-Myanmar module” of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) backed cadres of two banned Meitei outfits in Manipur to exploit the state’s ongoing ethnic clashes and wage a war against the Indian government, The Hindu reported on Wednesday.

Manipur has been gripped by ethnic violence between the Kuki and the Meitei communities since May 2023. The violence has left at least 224 persons dead and displaced 60,000 from their homes.

For over six decades, Naga nationalists have fought the Indian state for a sovereign ethnic homeland. Over the decades, the Naga armed movement split into several factions, the largest of them all being the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah).

The central agency made the allegations in a chargesheet filed in a Guwahati court on March 7 against five persons accused of criminally conspiracy “with intent to carry out violent terror attacks targeting the rival Kuki-Zo community with prohibited arms and ammunition”.

In the chargesheet, the National Investigation Agency alleged that the “China-Myanmar” module of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland’s Isak-Muivah faction extended support to the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur and the banned Meitei militant organisation Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup.

The module, which is based in Myanmar, backed the organisations so that their cadres could infiltrate Indian territory and carry out terrorist attacks, the central agency said.

In July, the five persons — M Anand Singh, A Kajit Singh, Keisham Johnson, L Michael Mangangcha and K Romojit Meitei — were arrested in Manipur. Three weapons and ammunition stolen from police armouries were recovered from their possession.

On July 19, the National Investigation Agency filed a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to investigate a suspected larger conspiracy.

The central agency said that M Anand Singh, the primary accused person in the case, mobilised youth for arms training in order to stoke clashes in Manipur. He also allegedly took part in a weapons training camp for young men organised by members of the banned People’s Liberation Army of Manipur.

According to the central agency, the persons accused in the case breached prohibitory orders issued by the district administration “to spread hatred and enmity among the communities, escalate the ongoing ethnic strife, disturb peace and tranquility and to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country”.

“For this purpose, NSCN-IM National [The Isak-Muivah faction of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland] promised a safe passage along with arms, ammunition, explosives and other terrorist hardware to Manipur-based terrorist outfits and proscribed organisations,” the chargesheet said.

“In addition, these outfits have also been tasked to identify, recruit and train impressionable youths and get them involved in the ongoing violence with the larger goal of destabilising the security situation in Manipur and to further wage a war against the Government of India.”

In 1997, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) signed a peace treaty and started a dialogue with the Union government. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) wants a Naga flag and a separate Constitution and had signed a framework agreement with the Union government in 2015.

The demands by the group had led to a deadlock in the peace talks. However, in 2019, the Centre and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) agreed to sign an accord without a separate Naga Constitution and with a “conditional flag” that could only be allowed for non-governmental purposes.

Indian forces aiding Kuki militants in Myanmar: NSCN

Meanwhile, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland on Wednesday claimed that Indian security forces were aiding Kuki militants in waging war against Meitei revolutionary groups in Myanmar.

“Indian Security Forces were extending logistics and material support to KNA(B) [Kuki National Army-Bangladesh] to wage war against the Meitei revolutionary groups stationed in Myanmar,” the National Socialist Council of Nagaland said in a statement.

Indian security forces also permitted “the Kuki militant groups operating in Tengnoupal district, Manipur, to enter Myanmar and fight with the Meitei revolutionary groups,” it said.

“Nothing is left to doubt about the dubious role of Indian Security Forces, as they use the Kukis as frontal forces to engage in bloody discord against the Nagas, giving all logistics support to the Kuki militant groups.”

The statement also said that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland was “sensitive to the propaganda war waged by the Government of India against NSCN [National Socialist Council of Nagaland] who had signed ceasefire with GoI [Government of India] and engaged in political talks for the last 27 years”.