Keep Arunachal out of any Naga peace deal: students’ organisation

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union says there are no Nagas in their State as claimed by the Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN

August 12, 2020 01:36 pm | Updated 01:37 pm IST - GUWAHATI:

Keep Arunachal Pradesh out of the purview of the push for a solution to the Naga political problem, the apex students’ body in the Frontier State has told the Centre.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) also rejected claims that there were Nagas living in their State while making it clear that any “territorial changes” while finding a solution would not be tolerated.

“The decades-old Naga peace process should not affect Arunachal Pradesh and its people in any way,” the AAPSU said in reaction to the Centre’s purported decision to conclude the talks with various Naga groups by September.

The largest of these groups is the National Socialist Council of Nagalim or Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN. Seven other stakeholders, including factions of the rival NSCN (Khaplang), form the Naga National Political Groups.

“We are aware of the NSCN (IM)'s vision of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland but there are no Nagas in Arunachal Pradesh. All the tribes inhabiting the State are Arunachalees and Indians,” a statement from the AAPSU said on Tuesday evening.

Nagalim, a long-term goal of the NSCN (IM), encompasses Naga-inhabited areas of Myanmar and the north-eastern States bordering Nagaland. The Nagalim map the outfit released a few years ago includes Tirap, Changlang, Longding, Anjaw, Lohit and Namsai districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Assurances on territorial integrity

The AAPSU said the Centre should stand by the assurances on territorial integrity given by Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, also the interlocutor for the Naga peace process.

Mr. Ravi had during a meeting with the AASU in 2015 promised that the interest of Arunachal Pradesh would not be compromised when the final draft of the Naga Peace Accord is executed.

“We have already submitted representations regarding the matter to President Ram Nath Kovind and former Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh besides the Arunachal Pradesh Governor and the State government,” the union said.

“We welcome the initiative for resolving the Naga issue. But we will strongly oppose any attempts made to change the territorial jurisdiction of the State or any kind of administrative, political or other interventions,” the AAPSU said.

The union called upon the State’s MPs and MLAs as well as the political parties to take a strong stand against any deal that affects Arunachal Pradesh.

Student and social organisations in Assam and Manipur are also opposed to any settlement that challenges the territorial integrity of their respective states. These organisations include the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad and the United Committee Manipur.

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