NSCN (IM) accuses Nagaland Governor of planning to hijack peace talks
Nagaland Governor RN Ravi’s message to the people on the eve of Nagaland’s 58th statehood day, hailing the 16 Point Agreement which led to the formation of Nagaland state has riled the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and the influential Naga Students’ Federation (NSF).
The two organisations have separately condemned the governor’s statement by saying that the Naga people have rejected said agreement.
The 16 Point Agreement, signed between the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) and the government of India in 1960, had led to the formation of the state of Nagaland in 1963.
“His (Ravi’s) statement reminds the Naga people once again of how under the leadership of AZ Phizo the war of resistance of the Nagas against the Indian colonialists were manipulated by the IB (Intelligence Bureau) officials who roped in some of the treacherous Naga individuals, mostly Indian government employees that formed a superfluous body called the NPC. The NPC came out of nowhere and signed the 16 Point Agreement where the Naga solution was hijacked and a state under the Indian Constitution was accepted giving a foothold to the Indian government to claim that from thence Nagas were a part of India,” the NSCN (IM) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The NSCN (IM), which has been holding talks with the central government for the past 23 years, alleged that the statement by Ravi, who is also the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, clearly exposed that another NPC was in the making.
“His assertion that some of the civil societies under his payroll are the main stakeholders on the Indo-Naga issue and therefore their decision must be supreme is farce. This is the same RN Ravi who was a signatory to the 2015 Framework Agreement signed between the government of India and the NSCN representing the Naga people, and also signed with the 7 NNPGs in 2017,” the group said.
It maintained that the Centre and the Naga people were fully committed to resolve the protracted issue through peaceful means and for which, the talks were at a concluding stage. However, the organisation accused Ravi, who is an ex-IB officer, of planning to hijack the 23 years of peace talks in the same style of the NPC.
On the governor’s statement that India as a nation has a sovereign territory and can have only one constitution and one national flag, the NSCN (IM) asserted that in the same breath Nagaland too must have sovereign territory, one constitution and one national flag within which the two must share sovereign powers and coexist peacefully as two entities as agreed upon in the framework agreement where Ravi himself is a signatory.
The NSCN (IM) advised the governor “not to bite off more than he can chew as far as the Indo-Naga Issue is concerned” and said was undeterred by his threat.
The NSF, an influential students’ body in the region, also denounced the governor’s message glorifying the l6 Point Agreement when in reality the Naga people have disowned it as it only sowed the seed for division. The NSF said Ravi’s statement was a shallow attempt to mislead the Naga people.
“....governor’s claim that it has been the best thing to happen to the Naga people only reveals his shallow understanding of the Naga history and also the narrow walls within which he has been trying to solve the vexed Indo-Naga political issue,” the NSF stated.
It reminded the governor that the obvious failure of the impugned agreement to solve the Naga political issue had led to the ceasefire and political dialogue with the Naga National Council in 1964 followed by the endless political dialogue leading to the present day.
“The federation appeals to the interlocutor to refrain from furthering the old ‘carrot and stick’ policy and adopt a more pragmatic approach in-order to ensure that the interests of the two entities are upheld through the political solution,” it said.
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