Nagas are free and peace loving people, and always existed as a free country owing no allegiance to any foreign nation or government. But, the very peaceful existence of Naga people were disturbed by the outside forces. Nagas consistently sought to settle the issue with India by peaceful and non-violent means. Notwithstanding our peaceful approach and aspirations, India sent thousands of troops to Naga Hills in her attempt to suppress any uprising by force. NNC (Naga National Council) leaders for the first time felt the need for military power in order to redeem our land from the aggressors. Our leaders organized and trained a band of armed cadres during the height of military operation and were christened as Naga Safe Guard (NSG) on 22nd March, 1956. General Thongdi Chang was the first Chief of NSG.
In 1958, the then Naga Safe Guard was renamed as Naga Home Guard (NHG) and General Kaito Sukhai was Commander-in-Chief till 1963. Our forces till then was very small and our knowledge of defense was limited. Therefore, the need for upgrading the military power arose with the intensification of the movement. Consequently, the erstwhile Naga Home Guard was re- organized and strengthened to a full-fledged Army and rechristened as Naga Army which became fully operational on 3rd January, 1963 with General Mowu Angami as the Chief. He was followed by General Thenosielie in May 1969. Later, General Veyalie Metha became the Chief in 1975 when the infamous Shillong Accord was signed. Brigadier Vedai became the Chief in 1976.
Significantly, NNC at that time was in total chaos. Consequently, Military Coup was triggered by Colonel Supong Ao. All powers were captured and government was haphazardly run under martial law till 1978. As soon as Martial Law was diffused, normal functioning of the Naga Army was restored with Brigadier Thungbo as Commander-in-Chief in 1979. But unfortunately, Brigadier Thungbo lost his life in a fierce attack by the combine forces of adversaries on 27th September, 1980. Brigadier Kholi then became Commander-in-Chief in the later part of 1980-1988, when a bloody coup was plotted by Khaplang and state of emergency prevailed till mid- 1989. Subsequently, Naga Army was re-organized on 21st June, 1989 under Lieut. Col. Vs. Atem as Commander-in-Chief till 1999. He was succeeded by Maj. Gen. Hs. Ramsan, Maj. Gen. Ng Markson, Maj. Gen. Phungthing Shimrang and presently Lieut. Gen. Ningkhan Shimray.
NSCN has gone through much turbulence, both internally and externally. But, we survived and stands strong till today. The credit certainly goes to our strong Naga Army under different dynamic Commander-in–Chiefs with their well-disciplined soldiers.
This is the reason why our enemy failed to exterminate our aspiration and subdue our movement. The living God has been with us. He will continue to bless and sustain us. Therefore, let us all dedicate ourselves to the glory of God.
During the occasion when NSCN celebrated to commemorate the Naga Army Day on 3rd January, 2020 at GHQ, Naga Army, His Excellency the Yaruiwo salute the Naga Army and pay homage to all the martyrs who have sacrificed their precious lives as ransom for the freedom of Nagalim. “Their supreme sacrifices shall be an inspiration to the younger generation and Naga history will ever cherish them”.
He passionately hailed the Naga Army: “ Since the inception of our National struggle for freedom, Naga Army have played a vital role and suffered tremendously, encountering all situation, withstood harsh weather without proper food and shelter for days and night, penetrating thick forest, covering hills and mountains and terrain fighting in defense of our land and rights, but never giving up or surrender before the aggressors, but stood firm in confronting, which has finally brought our movement to the negotiating table heading for a logical conclusion”.
Download Nagalim Voice February 2020 Issue
A bi-monthly news bulletin/publication of MIP, GPRN