SS Khaplang will be replaced by Khango Konyak as new chairman of NSCN (K), sources said.
A rebel leader for half a century, the chairman of the underground Naga rebel group NSCN (K), the most-wanted and the most-elusive Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang died on Friday evening due to prolonged illness at the general headquarters of the group in Taga of Sagaing division of Myanmar. He was 77.
The rebel leader, who was also the president of the Government of the People's Republic of Nagalim (GPRN), the parallel "government" run by the group in Nagaland, parts of Arunachal Pradesh and some areas of Myanmar died after suffering a diabetic stroke around 7:30 pm this evening, multiple sources including intelligence agencies and those within the NSCN (K) told NDTV.
Khaplang has three sons and a daughter, all settled far from the rebellion.
Khaplang was also the mastermind behind the formation of an united platform of Northeast rebel groups - United National Liberation Front of Western South Asia (UNLFWSA) - that has carried our several attacks on security forces in northeast in past few years.
His deputy in NSCN (K) - Khango Konyak will replace his as the new chairman, sources within NSCN(K) added.
With Khaplang's death, the Northeast rebel groups have suffered a major blow since he was seen as the man who has huge influence over the Myanmarese authorities as well has having strong South Asian connect including deep connection within China.
A Burmese national and hailing from the Hemi Naga Tribe, he was born in 1940 in Waktham village just east of Myanmar's Pangsau Pass, next to the international border with India in Nagaland.