Constitutional changes on anvil to resolve Naga issue | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Constitutional changes on anvil to resolve Naga issue

The amendments will be a progression of the special provision given to Nagaland under Article 371 A of the constitution.

delhi Updated: Oct 24, 2012 00:00 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

The amendments will be a progression of the special provision given to Nagaland under Article 371 A of the constitution.

In their initial memorandum on the agenda for talks, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN Isak-Muivah faction) had submitted a list of 31 topics for discussion. “In July-August 2011, they revised their items on the agenda, which was an appreciation of the issues that the Indian government or Nagas could or could not concede to,” the source said.

Among other things, the proposed amendments will be aimed at ensuring greater autonomy for Nagas in the form of special rights in Nagaland and Naga-inhabited areas in neighbouring states. “The amendments are being appropriately planned so as to reflect the ‘uniqueness’ of the Nagas and their history, which had been already agreed to by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre in 2002 – providing primacy to Naga customary laws in their areas, land protection, etc,” the source added.

At the same time, the Centre has also expressed its opposition to changes in present-day state boundaries for accommodating a ‘Greater Nagalim’. In its place, it has offered to make alternative arrangements at Naga-inhabited areas in neighbouring states.

HT had earlier reported that a resolution was in the offing in the form of a structure that ties together the cultural and traditional homogeneity of the Nagas, without affecting the jurisdictional and administrative authority of any neighbouring state.

“To make way for a permanent solution, Indian government agencies, Naga leaders and Naga civic societies will have to be proactive to make the terms of settlement acceptable to other armed groups. Without the participation of armed groups, Naga areas will never be free of weapons,” the source said.

NSCN-IM, one of the factions of the Naga insurgency movement, has been observing a ceasefire since 1997 with at least 65 rounds of parleys taking place in India as well as at least 10 destinations abroad in the last 15 years.

Called the “mother of all insurgencies” in Northeast India, the seeds of the Naga insurgency movement were sown well before India's independence.