Go for peace deal with or without NSCN-IM, Naga groups tell Centre

‘Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups and the Centre can sign the agreement any day because it is the desire of the Nagas’

Updated - March 11, 2020 09:03 pm IST

Published - March 11, 2020 05:52 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi. File

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi. File

A conglomerate of seven Naga extremist groups have asked the Indian government to sign the prolonged peace deal at the earliest, with or without the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN), also known as the Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN.

Several rounds of talks between the Centre and the NSCN-IM since the latter declared truce in 1997 have proved inconclusive despite the signing of the nebulous Framework Agreement in August 2015 . The ambit of the “Naga political issue” was expanded two years later to include the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) comprising outfits that have been rivals of the NSCN-IM.

The Hindu explains | Why have the Naga peace talks stumbled?

After three days of discussions with Nagaland Governor R. N. Ravi, the NNPGs on Tuesday evening advised going for the final agreement even if the NSCN-IM refuses to come on board. The NSCN-IM has been adamant about getting a separate flag and constitution as part of the peace deal.

“The Working Committee of the NNPGs and the Centre can sign the agreement any day because it is the desire of the Nagas. We have distributed the status paper among our people, which is acceptable to them,” a leader of the NNPGs said.

Common ground

The Centre reportedly wants all the Naga stakeholder groups to find common ground before the final agreement is signed. In a statement on February 27, the NSCN-IN reiterated its demand for a separate flag and constitution, but the NNPGs have favoured working on these aspects after signing the peace deal.

A few days ago, Mr. Ravi had accused the NSCN-IM of delaying the signing of the accord with their demand.

One of the goals of the NSCN-IM has been the creation of “Greater Nagalim”, a homeland comprising all Naga-inhabited areas in the northeast. The Centre has assured Nagaland’s neighbours — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur — that their territorial integrity would be protected.

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