No merger with India but Nagas cannot live apart: NSCN (I-M)

New Delhi did not respect the Naga national identity, the outfit’s chairman Q.Tuccu said

August 04, 2022 05:00 am | Updated 08:18 am IST - GUWAHATI

A Naga boy shows an NSNC (I-M) flag to one of the cadres. File

A Naga boy shows an NSNC (I-M) flag to one of the cadres. File | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

Nagas cannot merge with India but cannot live apart from Indians, due to the necessity of interdependent relationship among peoples and nations, the chief of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim or Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN, said on Wednesday.

In a statement marking seven years of the signing of the Framework Agreement with New Delhi, NSCN (I-M) chairman Q. Tuccu said, the coexistence of the Nagas and Indians is a “natural necessity because no individual or nation exists in total isolation from others”.

Nagalim, part of India

The Nagas have been owning some 120,000 sq. km for years while the Indian government claims Nagalim is an integral part of India, he said. Nagalim refers to all Naga-inhabited areas in Nagaland, three adjoining north-eastern States and Myanmar.

“But there is neither history nor any agreement in support of that claim and the diametrically opposite stands have made the two peoples fight for decades before the government of India acknowledged that the Nagas are owners of their land – everything on the surface and beneath,” Mr. Tuccu said.

Unique history

The Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015, recognised the unique history of the Nagas, which essentially means the land of the Nagas have never been a part of India despite the occupation of the “Naga country” by British imperialists in 1832, he said.

Mr. Tuccu indicated New Delhi went back on the contents of the Framework Agreement by not respecting the Naga national identity.

Framework Agreement

“The Framework Agreement says sovereignty lies with the people. We say sovereignty is our inherent right, and the Nagas are a sovereign people, but it must be recognised by other nation-states,” he said.

“The interlocutors of the government of India are making the Naga flag and Constitution an issue. It is known to all that the flag and the Constitution are components of recognised sovereignty and unique history,” Mr. Tuccu said.

He also said New Delhi and the NSCN (I-M) had mutually agreed that the integration of the Naga areas was the “legitimate right of the Nagas” and that it will be finalised through a political process at the earliest.

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur are opposed to the idea of integrating all Naga-inhabited areas under one umbrella, a long-term goal of the NSCN (I-M).

“The Framework Agreement says sovereignty lies with the people”Q.TuccuNSCN (I-M) chairman

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