NSCN (IM) refuses to budge on demand for Naga flag and Constitution
The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) on Saturday reiterated its demand for a separate Naga national flag and Constitution a day after Nagaland Governor and chief interlocutor for the peace talks R N Ravi accused it of procrastinating on the final agreement of the Naga political issue.
“After coming so close to the point of conclusion, we are facing hurdles on the issues of Naga flag and constitution,” NSCN-IM chairman Q Tuccu said in a statement.
“The Indian authorities who deal with the talks are also well informed that the Indo-Naga political solution without Naga flag and constitution is not conclusive and that will create a room for future headache. We are looking for a lasting solution,” it added.
The NSCN-IM also accused the central government of creating fear psychosis in Nagalim (Greater Nagaland) by deploying Army personnel.
“The GoI (Government of India) is creating fear psychosis in Nagalim by deploying thousands of armed forces personnel. If GoI chooses military option to dictating the negotiating team, that will not be the end of the matter. The issue will remain alive and kicking,” Tuccu said.
While Ravi in his statement accused NSCN-IM of “mischievously dragging” the 2015 framework agreement into the peace talks and “imputing imaginary contents to it”, Nagaland’s largest rebel group said it was important for the final agreement.
“The framework agreement is the meeting point of the two contending parties-Indians and the Nagas and the rallying point for the divided Nagas,” said the statement.
“The framework agreement will certainly bring an honourable and acceptable solution to the long drawn Indo-Naga political conflict as it addresses the security concern of India as well the historical and political rights of the Nagas,” it added.
On Friday, the governor’s office had said in a statement, “A mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for inking the final agreement.”
With Ravi’s statement indicating that the talks would conclude within stipulated the time, it is clear that there would be no more negotiation beyond October 31, when the three month deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conclude the talks would end. The final agreement is expected to be signed anytime after that date.
“The working committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) is fully prepared to sign the final agreement. There is no question of further stalling. Even within the NSCN-IM there is sensible leadership who understand the desire of the Naga people (for an early solution). It would be foolish on our part to go against that. The NNPGs are ready to sign the final agreement at any point of time now,” said a senior functionary of NSCN-Unification, one of the seven outfits which are part of the NNPGs engaged in talks with Centre, on condition of anonymity.
Last week, the NSCN (IM) had accused the Centre of trying to twist and backtrack on its commitments to nullify the ‘’framework agreement’’ reached after 22 years of intensive negotiations.
The NSCN (IM) had also expressed its displeasure at the importance given to seven other rebel outfits, which joined the ongoing peace talks at a much later stage.