He was also heading United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), an umbrella organisation of Northeast insurgent groups.
Guwahati: Prior to his death on Friday, Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang, chief of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), created a second rung of leadership led by his deputy Khango Konyak, who may take over the responsibility of the organisation soon.
However, security sources told this newspaper that the death of Khaplang has been a major setback for the insurgent groups, which were operating from Myanmar.
Pointing out that Khaplang was the pillar of the insurgency thriving from Myanmar, security sources said that Khaplang has created a command area on both side the international border.
Informing that a “Command Certificate” given by Khaplang to the cadres of all the insurgent groups operating from his base in Taga, Myanmar, used to facilitate a free movement of armed cadres in Naga dominated villages on either side of the international border, sources said no other Naga rebel leader has such influence to issue command certificate, which will be honoured by all the Naga village heads.
After Angami Zapu Phizo, Khaplang was the tallest Naga rebel leader who dominated the insurgency of Northeast for last 50 years, sources said, adding he was the unifying factor for the insurgent groups of the region.
He was also heading United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), an umbrella organisation of Northeast insurgent groups. Sources said it has to be seen that who succeeds Khaplang in UNLFW. Though, elusive Ulfa (I) chief Paresh Baruah is the senior most leader but doesn’t have the strength of his organisation to stake claim.