With a final agreement yet to be signed four months after conclusion of talks, the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on Thursday reiterated its demand for an ‘honourable political solution’ to the Naga issue.
A statement issued after an emergency joint council meeting at the outfit’s head quarters at Hebron in Nagaland defended the demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution while it accused the Government of India (GoI) of a “double standard policy”.
“NSCN shall continue to endeavour to conclude an honourable political solution that is acceptable to the Naga people,” said the statement which reaffirmed the outfit’s decision to uphold the Framework Agreement signed with GoI in August 2015.
The outfit stated that the Naga national flag and constitution represent their “national identity” and recognition of the same is a matter of right of the Nagas for an honourable political solution.
The statement also states that the final agreement with GoI should be a ‘Naga Solution’ for all Nagas, wherever they are.
“It (the meeting) condemned in the strongest term the double standard policy of GoI and caution the GoI from using its agencies including National Investigation Agency (NIA) to arrest and harass members of NSCN who are in political negotiations with GoI for the past 22 years,” the statement said.
Following NIA action against some senior members of NSCN last month, the outfit had accused the Centre of using ‘carrot and stick policy’ to deal with the Naga political issue.
NSCN-IM and seven other Naga rebel outfits called Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) concluded peace talks with Centre in October last year in search of a lasting political solution.
But the final agreement, which is expected to bring lasting peace to Nagaland and the region, is yet to be signed.
The Naga insurgency began in 1950s with the demand for independence, but over the years it settled for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas in Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Later NSCN-IM demanded a separate Naga flag and constitution to be included in the final agreement. But the Centre rejected that demand as not acceptable.
NSCN-IM, the largest of the Naga outfits started peace talks with Centre in 1997 and signed a framework agreement in August 2015, which was to pave way for the final agreement. The seven NNPGs joined the talks in 2018.