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Swu on dialysis in Delhi hospital, Tuccu tipped to be successor

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 19: NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu is on dialysis at a Delhi hospital, government sources today said.

The octogenarian insurgent leader is said to have been diagnosed with urinary tract infection a few years ago. He came to India to undergo treatment in 2011 when he was issued a fresh Indian passport by authorities.

"It is the first time that he has been put on dialysis indicating that the kidneys are not functioning," said a source. "His condition is said to be critical but stable," the government source added.

As his condition remained critical, Q. Tuccu, a member of the outfit's collective leadership, has emerged as the front-runner to succeed him.

Tuccu, 75, who is from the Sumi community and hails from Khetoi village in Zunheboto district of Nagaland, has held several key portfolios in the group and is known to be a close associate of Swu.

To keep its flock together, the managers and think tank of the group would opt for a person from Nagaland as Swu's successor. Of the two top leaders of the outfit, Swu is from Chishilimi village in Zunheboto district while Muivah is from Ukhrul district in Manipur.

Apart from Tuccu, others from Nagaland who are in the top hierarchy of the rebel outfit are A.Z. Jami, Vikiye Awomi and Tongmath Wangnao. Sources said leaders of Naga civil organisations are in Delhi to see the ailing Naga leader. One source said Swu was almost in a coma, but another source said there was some improvement in his condition.

Sources in Delhi said Swu was admitted to Fortis Flight Lieutenant Ranjan Dhall Hospital in Vasant Kunj and was being treated by a team of nephrologists. However, no medical staff or Swu's attendants are speaking about his condition.

Delhi police personnel in plainclothes have been deployed for Swu's security.

A source from the NSCN (I-M) said Swu had been admitted to the ICU, but he refused to disclose details of his health condition. The NSCN (I-M) chairman who is also president of the "Government of the People's Republic of Nagalim" (GPRN) has not been keeping well for quite some time. He had a minor stroke a couple of years back in Bangkok.

The NSCN cadres across Nagalim (Naga-inhabited areas) today observed a fast and prayed for their chairman's quick recovery and also requested all churches to do the same.

A senior kilonser (minister) in the GPRN said Swu's condition is not good. "Please pray for him," he added.

The general secretary of the Council of Nagalim Churches, Reverend Seksimkasar, said Swu's condition had deteriorated in the last couple of days and asked people to pray for him. "Our chairman Isak Chishi Swu has not been feeling well for quite some days and is deteriorating. He is also advanced in age as well. Therefore, we appeal to all god-loving citizens to pray for him," he added.

The NSCN (I-M) has also requested all priests, pastors and leaders of the churches to organise fast and prayers.

Swu and general secretary of the outfit, Thuingaleng Muivah, have been the main persons engaged in dialogue with the Centre since 1997 when they signed a ceasefire.

The two joined the Naga National Council (NNC) in the early sixties. Swu was foreign secretary of the "Federal Government of Nagaland" and Muivah was general secretary of the NNC.

The two comrades along with "general" Thenousalie Keyho were the ones who were first to contact with Chinese leaders. They had also travelled far and wide in China and received Beijing's assistance to fight New Delhi.

They along with S.S. Khaplang, a Naga from Myanmar, formed the NSCN on January 31, 1980 after the NNC had signed an agreement with the Centre known as Shillong Accord in 1975. But the NSCN again split on April 30, 1988, and the NSCN (K), led by Khaplang, was formed.

The objective of the NSCN (I-M) was to establish a sovereign state by unifying all the Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast and northern Myanmar which the organisation and the people of the area proposed as Nagalim. Unification of all Naga communities under one administration and liberating Nagalim from India is listed as one of the main objectives of the organisation.

In many areas, it runs a parallel government. There are four major "ministries" - defence, home, finance and foreign affairs. Moreover, there are five other "ministries" including education, information and publicity, forests and minerals, law and justice and religious affairs. The most prominent among the ministries is the "home ministry" ( kilo ministry).

Over the years, the NSCN, led by Swu and Muivah, has tried to develop extensive linkages both within and outside India. The outfit has also opened up contacts with international organisations like the UN Human Rights Organisation in Geneva, Unrepresented Nations and People's organisation (UNPO) at the Hague and the UN Working Group on Indigenous People.

Since 1997, Swu along with Muivah have met many Prime Ministers, including P.V. Narasimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda, I.K. Gujral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and held talks in different places across the world, including Paris, Zurich, Osaka, New York, Geneva and Bangkok.

They also held 26 rounds of talks in New Delhi, the latest being held on July 16, 2014.

The room in the ICU - where the leader fighting for a sovereign state by unifying all the Naga-inhabited areas of the region is undergoing treatment - is overshadowed by the country's one of the ancient monuments, Qutub Minar, which is visible from the window.

Additional Reporting By our Delhi Bureau

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