Violence-scarred Nagaland has turned to God for peace.
Desperately seeking respite from factional fights, residents of Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, organised special prayers on Sunday for divine intervention. It marked the end of a seven-day fasting by locals in a bid to ensure peace.
“We are sick of the killings in the past few months, and it seems only divine intervention can bring peace here,” said N. Neikha of the Northeast India Christian Revival Church, which organized the ‘peace crusade’.
The Neiphiu Rio government in the state, though, has started talking tough against the warring factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland. It has set a June 10 deadline for the rebels to vacate residential areas and stay within their designated camps.
Over 55 militants and civilians have died in the past few months in and around Dimapur. The genesis of this violence was the creation of the NSCN (Unification) in November last year. Some 600 members of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) had broken away to form this group.
The NSCN (U) added a new dimension to fratricide that already existed between the NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (Khaplang), which have been fighting each other since 1988. NSCN (I-M) declared ceasefire in July 1997 and NSCN (K) followed suit in 2000. While both are bound by ceasefire ground rules to keep off guns, the NSCN (U) is not.