NSCN (IM) targets state legislators over remarks on Naga peace talks
The NSCN (IM)’s statement comes ahead of a meeting with the state lawmakers’ forum, the core committee on the Naga political issue, expected to be held on Saturday or Sunday.
KOHIMA: The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has taken exception to some recent statements made by state legislators and asked them “not to overstep their roles as facilitators” in the Naga peace process.
This comes against the backdrop of reports from Nagaland that deputy chief minister Yanthungo Patton, who is also the BJP legislature party leader, allegedly said some “big leaders” of the Naga nationalist groups do not want a solution to the Naga issue but continue reaping the fruits of tax collection and extortion. A video clip of Patton’s speech went viral on social media platforms wherein he asserted that those who do not want a solution can “go to hell”.
Last week, Eastern Mirror, a local newspaper reported that NPF legislature party leader Kuzholuzo Nienu said the time has come for NSCN (IM) to “take it or leave it” in regard to signing a final pact with the government of India. “The NPF legislator said the NSCN (IM) went wrong the moment they signed the Framework Agreement (FA), which ‘sealed their fate’. Maintaining that the FA was within the framework of the Indian constitution, he said if that’s the case, ‘integration is ruled out, sovereignty is ruled out, flag and constitution are ruled out,” the report said.
The NSCN (IM) and the Centre, which entered a peace process in 1997 and went on to sign the Framework Agreement in 2015, have yet to come to a final agreement as the former remained firm on having a separate Naga flag and constitution.
In a statement on Friday, the NSCN (IM), without taking names, flayed “some outrageous statements” on Naga political solution with reference to Framework Agreement, Naga National Flag, Constitution and integration from the Nagaland BJP ministers and NPF political leader “using un-parliamentary and intemperate language.”
The group said the Naga issue is something nobody wants to prolong, including the NSCN (IM). “Every single Naga people have had enough of torment connected to the Naga issue and thus, the huge burden loaded on their heads. Irrespective of who we are as individuals or parties, we have to admit that the Naga political issue is getting more sensitive by days and for many, it is an extremely emotive experience, to say the least. This demands careful handling without resorting to derogatory outburst with rhetorical embellishments,” the statement said.
Accusing the politicians of getting carried away by “election syndrome” with the state assembly elections scheduled to be held in less than a year’s time, the NSCN (IM) reminded them that the Naga issue involves more than six decades of struggle at the cost of “hundreds of thousand lives and loss of properties” and the state BJP ministers and other party leaders are not able to fully appreciate its complexities and intricacies involved.
“Naga issue is a sensitive issue because it encompasses the historical and political rights to exist as a free people. This demands that the Naga solution should be an issue-based solution guided by the principle-based movement that has lasted for over six decades,” it said.
While appreciating the enthusiasm shown by the state’s elected political leaders, the group maintained that it would be tantamount to overstepping their role as facilitators when they leap beyond their assigned role, making “bewildering statements” on the Naga solution.
The NSCN (IM) also justified that it did not sign the Framework Agreement without applying political insight, saying they were guided by their intuition to safeguard the Nagas’ sovereign rights and dignity as a people and as a nation. “This is the reason why we have stood our ground and never for other vested interests as wrongly perceived and projected recklessly to jeopardise the sanctity of the Naga issue,” it maintained.
On the current deadlock in the peace process, the NSCN (IM) claimed to be exploring every available means to find a meeting point with the government of India towards the Naga solution. “No amount of effort will go wasted if the negotiating parties are equally determined to find the elusive solution. Mutual understanding and respect should be the driving force to take the stakeholders to the common ground,” it added.
The organisation asserted that it would cow down into submission under the relentless campaigns to come to terms with the Centre when the impending settlement is short of coming up to the common target of “honourable and acceptable settlement to both the parties.”
The NSCN (IM)’s statement comes ahead of a meeting with the state lawmakers’ forum, the core committee on the Naga political issue, which is expected to be held on Saturday or Sunday.