Separate flag, law key to Naga solution: NSCN(IM)

There has been no headway in the three years since the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, publicity wing of the NSCN(IM) said

August 25, 2019 06:54 pm | Updated 10:54 pm IST

General secretary of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), Thuingaleng Muivah. File

General secretary of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), Thuingaleng Muivah. File

Less than a month after the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status that allowed it to have its own Constitution and a flag, a Naga extremist group has for the first time said a “separate flag and Constitution” were necessary for an “honourable solution” to the 22-year-old Naga peace process.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) has in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said any solution to the Naga political issue would be far from honourable if the core issues such as Naga flag and Constitution are yet to be agreed upon between the group and the Centre.

Centre’s deadline

The letter followed former Intelligence Bureau officer R.N. Ravi’s statement that the Prime Minister had before his appointment as Nagaland’s Governor underscored the need to conclude the peace process within three months.

Mr Ravi was speaking at a civic reception in Nagaland’s capital Kohima on August 17 and allayed fears that the scrapping of Article 370 would cast a shadow on the peace process and the State.

The publicity wing of the NSCN(IM) said hopes were raised about a final solution to the peace process — it began when the outfit declared a ceasefire in July 1997 — when the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015. But there has been no headway in the three years since the agreement was signed, it said.

The Indian government has been going slow in taking a stand on the core issues, compelling the group’s chairman Q. Tuccu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah to write to the Prime Minister about the doubt and confusion on whether an honourable political solution can be arrived at, the NSCN(IM) said.

“This is in reference to the core issues like Naga flag and Constitution, which are yet to be agreed upon between the two parties. Without these two core issues solved, any solution would be far from honourable because Naga pride and identity is deeply entrenched here,” the outfit said.

Framework Agreement

The Framework Agreement, initiated and signed by former NSCN(IM) chairman Isak Chishi Swu, was believed to have taken the peace process to a critical stage. Neither the Centre nor the outfit, however, has divulged the contents of the agreement.

The Centre had a year ago insisted that the peace process would be incomplete if at least six other Naga extremist groups, some of whom are dormant, were not taken on board the negotiations. The Khaplang faction of the NSNC ceased to be a part of the peace process after it walked out of a 14-year-old truce in March 2015.

The Khaplang faction is primarily based in Myanmar while most of the leaders and cadres of the Isak-Muivah group are from Manipur.

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