Even as the BJP government at the Centre insists that there cannot be two flags and two Constitutions for one country, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah, (NSCN-IM) which is engaged in peace talks with the Centre, has reiterated that a separate Naga flag and Constitution are core issues to finding an ‘honourable solution’ to the Naga political issue,
In a press statement Saturday evening by its information and publicity wing, NSCN (IM), the largest Naga rebel group, accused the Centre of going slow on taking a stand on the core issues.
The Centre and NSCN (IM) had signed a framework agreement in August 2015 for finding a lasting solution to the Nagal political issue. Talks have been underway between the Centre, NSCN (IM) and seven other Naga outfits to conclude the peace talks.
“Four years is a long period but the framework agreement is yet to have its fruition as the government of India is going slow in taking its stand on core issues,” read the statement.
NSCN (IM) chairman Q Tuccu and general secretary T Muivah had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the delay has raised doubt among Naga people “if an honourable political solution can be arrived at”.
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“This is in reference to the core issues like Naga flag and constitution which are yet to be agreed upon by the two parties. Without these two core issues solved, any solution would be far from honourable because Naga pride and identity is deeply entrenched here,” the statement read.
Naga outfits have been seeking bringing of all Naga-inhabited areas in Nagaland and neighbouring states under one administrative umbrella called Greater Nagalim with a separate flag and constitution.
Nagaland’s new governor, RN Ravi who took charged at the beginning of August and who was earlier the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, said that Prime Minister Modi had given three months to find a resolution to the long pending Naga political issue.
“Given the seriousness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in solving the Indo-Naga political conflict, the Nagas await the historic day when the final agreement will be signed,” said the statement.
“When Modi asked interlocutor RN Ravi to finish the talks with the Naga negotiators within 3 months, it became all the more interesting. This is the third time when the Modi-led BJP government has come out with such an assuring tone,” it added.
The NSCN (IM) urged Governor Ravi to “work in tandem” with Assam Rifles and ask the later to exercise restraint in their “aggressive postures” like frisking commuters, raiding houses in villages etc.
At a time when the peace talks are at a crucial stage, Naga insurgent outfits are also engaged in targeting each other.
Earlier this month, Toishe Yeptho, a mid-level functionary of NSCN-IM, was shot dead at his Dimapur residence by two assailants. Four days later, Khekato Kinny, a NSCN (Reformation) leader, was injured in a shooting at his home on the outskirts of Dimapur.
Aug 25, 2019 13:24 IST