Since the slip of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland on April 30, 1988, Khaplang has been leading the NSCN (K) which has is more nationalist and hardline in their movement as compared to Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah faction NSCN (I-M).
Khaplang called off peace talks with India two years ago and resumed his fight for an independent Naga homeland. "This grandee of the indigenous citizens of WeSEA (Western South East Asia) will be greatly missed in the vales and hills of the compact".
Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Saturday revealed that National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) head S.S. Khaplang had conveyed his willingness to have dialogue with the Indian government for an early solution to the Naga political problem.
The minister said that Khaplang was a Myanmar citizen and he had strong influence in Myanmar.
Konyak, who held the rank of Lieutenant General in the Naga Army - the armed wing of the NSCN-K, was elected as Vice Chairman of NSCN-K in May 2011.
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Khaplang had co-founded NSCN in 1980 with two senior comrades-in-arms, Th. Be belong to Hemi Naga tribe of Myanmar.
The tone of Muivah's condolence message indicated Khaplang's death could open the doors for unification of the Nagas. The Chairman "love the Nagas more than his own body" and which he has proved during his long union with him, Wangtin further stated. Swu died in June 2016 in a Delhi hospital. Rijiju said the Indian government had withdrawn from a ceasefire with NSCN-K after banning it in 2015 through a special notification.
However, the group split in 1988, with Khaplang parting ways with Swu and Muivah due to clan rivalries between the Konyaks of Nagaland's Monday district and the Tangkhuls of Manipur's Ukhrul district.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a chargesheet against Khaplang and announced a reward of Rs 7 lakh on him and even sent a detailed dossier on him to Myanmar through diplomatic channels. "Though God has called you home to be with Him before you could see the end objective of our common struggle and that this reality pains us greatly, those of us who are still alive will continue to run the course for the sake of our upcoming generations in keeping with our pledge to our people".