Assam, Manipur, Arunachal CMs still in the dark on Naga accord

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said hewill even file an RTIapplication to know the details of the deal. File photo  

On a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi questioned the Naga “peace accord” and charged the government with being “arrogant” in not consulting Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in framing the agreement, the Chief Ministers of the three States told The Hindu that they would write to the Centre to know the details of the accord.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he would not hesitate to file a Right to Information (RTI) application to know the details of the accord. He said Naga interlocutor R.N. Ravi had no locus standi in signing the agreement on behalf of the Union government.

Rajnath briefed

Amid reports that the Union Home Ministry was kept out of the loop while firming up details of the agreement with the Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met Mr. Ravi at his North Block office. Mr. Ravi is believed to have given a detailed view of the accord. The government is yet to release the terms of the agreement signed with the NSCN(I-M), the largest Naga group in talks with the government for two decades now.

Ms. Gandhi told presspersons outside Parliament: “This government keeps on saying that everybody has to be taken along and that they will hold consultations with all, will take the views of all Chief Ministers. Then what happened? Their arrogance is now even more clear than before. And it is an insult not only to the Chief Ministers but also to the people of these States and the federal structure of our country.”

‘Lift secrecy over Naga accord’

Lambasting the secrecy surrounding the Naga peace accord, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said on Thursday that the State would oppose any kind of law imposed from outside.

“We came to know about the announcement through television channels and newspapers only. We don’t have the details of the agreement. We were never consulted on this. If we don’t get the details of the agreement within a day or two, we will be writing to the Home Ministry for an explanation. There is a sizeable number of population of Nagas in Tirap, Changlang and Longding. We will oppose any kind of law that is imposed on us from outside. Till today, nobody has contacted us,” he said.

In 2011 also, the Union government had not released the contents of the agreement signed between the Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) and the then Naga interlocutor, R.S. Pandey, who signed it on behalf of the government.

“There were various issues included in that agreement also, but it could not be released due to various factors, as the final accord was yet to take place. There are various factions and other parties also who would not want peace in these areas,” said a senior official who was involved in signing the agreement in 2011.

No compromise

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh told The Hindu, “If the peace accord tries to compromise the territory of Manipur, we shall never accept it. Soon after receiving the news about the signing of the accord, I rang up Home Minister Rajnath Singh to make a copy of the accord available to the State government. Singh promised me to do so. He further volunteered the information that he would make a statement on the accord in Parliament. Unfortunately, Singh has not so far sent a copy of the accord. Besides, he has not made any statement in the Parliament.”

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the “entire secrecy around the agreement has put the accord under a cloud of doubt”.

On reports that Centre was ready to give autonomous councils to the Naga-dominated population in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Amanipur, Mr. Gogoi said, “How can they give an autonomous council within my State,” he asked. “Will they allow creation of an autonomous council for Assamese people in Delhi?”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 12:50:40 AM |

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