NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah set out on Wednesday for his home village of Somdal in Ukhrul district in neighbouring Manipur, defying the Manipur government's decision not to allow him to enter the state.
Muivah left from Camp Hembron, the NSCN (IM) headquarters, near Dimapur in a convoy escorted by members of Naga civil society organisations and reached here this afternoon. From here he will drive to the Mao checkgate in Manipur, 40 km away, official sources said.
"I must go there and no force can stop me. My parents died waiting to meet their son," Muivah, who recently arrived in Nagaland after holding the second round of peace talks with the Centre's representatives, said.
Muivah said he was surprised at the opposition to his visit agreed to by the Centre and which was for "peace and to meet family and friends and not to disturb anyone".
"We will not claim anything which belongs to the Meiteis, let them have theirs, we will only have what is rightfully ours," he said.
The Manipur government had at a cabinet meeting yesterday asked the chief secretary to convey to the Union Home Ministry that it should prevail on Muivah not to visit Manipur. It feared that communal amity in the state would be disturbed by Muivah's visit.
Official sources in Imphal said that prohibitory orders had been clamped on the Mao checkgate and security forces deployed there.
Muivah had been expected at 9:00 am, but had not arrived so far, the sources said.