The broad framework of the peace accord signed between the government and the Naga insurgent group NSCN (I-M) on Monday had been drawn but the finer details would take at least four to six months to emerge, HT has learnt.
The worsening health of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) chairman Isak Chishi Swu hurried the government and the Naga group into announcing the agreement that promises to end India’s longest running insurgency.
“Swu wanted to see the accord signed in his life time. It was the main reason for announcing the peace accord on Monday,” a government official said, requesting anonymity.
A couple of weeks ago, the condition of Swu, admitted to a Delhi hospital, deteriorated following multi-organ failure, the official said. But, the 85-year-old Naga leader, who along with Thuingaleng Muivah founded the outfit, is now off ventilator support and is even having food.
The “framework agreement” that came after 80 rounds of talks spread over 18 years involved no change in the boundaries of Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast across Manipur, Arunachal and Assam, sources said.
Read | Naga accord: Will the 'framework agreement' end insurgency?
It means that the insurgents demand for “Greater Nagaland” has not been met. Surrender of arms by the Naga group had been agreed to as well, sources said.
The inability of the Modi government to come out with the details of the accord invited criticism from political opponents.
Tarun Gogoi, chief minister of Congress-ruled Assam, told PTI, “… it is astonishing why the clauses of the agreement are kept in the dark”.
The accord also involved acceptance of primacy of the Indian Constitution by the NSCN (I-M), recognising unique history and position of Nagas and forging a relationship of equals between the two sides.
Read | Naga accord a 'framework agreement', Nagalim issue set aside
NSCN (I-M) general secretary Muivah, who signed the accord, too, used the word ‘framework agreement’ in his statement.
“Better understanding has been arrived at and a framework agreement has been concluded basing on the unique history and position of the Nagas and recognising the universal principle that in a democracy sovereignty lies with the people,” Muivah said.
The BJP welcomed the accord, describing it as historic.
Briefing party MPs, home minister Rajnath Singh attributed the agreement to “good job” done by all successive governments”.
A party resolution said the agreement marked a remarkable beginning in peace and security of the NE states in particular and India in general.