A Nagaland government-led consultative committee meeting on the impending Naga peace agreement adopted a resolution on Wednesday that the talks conclude early and it should be transparent.
It said the negotiating parties should earnestly heed the Naga people’s call for an early political solution.
The Union government is engaged in discussions with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and seven Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) to find a solution to the Naga political issue. The outcome of the negotiation is shrouded in mystery since 2015 when the Union Government, under the then interlocutor R. N Ravi, presently the Governor of Tamil Nadu, signed a framework agreement with the NSCN-IM to find a solution to the issue.
The dialogue between the Union Government and the NSCN-IM collapsed in 2020 when the largest Naga group refused to hold any further talks with Mr. Ravi. Union Home Minister Amit Shah then deputed two Intelligence Bureau officers to carry forward the negotiations. One of the officers, A.K. Mishra, who retired as special director in 2020, was later appointed as an adviser in the Home Ministry to continue the talks.
A consultative meeting of all stakeholders, including mass-based civil societies, church organisations, tribal hohos, political parties and NGOs, was held at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima on the invitation of the State Government of Nagaland.
After the meeting, the House adopted the resolution that “the Naga people are yearning for an early political solution.”
“The negotiating parties should earnestly heed to this call and arrive at a political solution that is honorable, inclusive, transparent and acceptable to the people. The House further appeals to all sections to make renewed efforts towards unity and understanding in order to work towards One Solution and One Agreement,” the resolution added.
It was signed by over 200 participants, including Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. The BJP is a constituent of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-led government in Nagaland.
It also added that elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) should be conducted as per the 74th Amendment Act of the Constitution that grants 33% reservation to women. Nagaland had erupted in protests in 2017 against the said reservation.
The Naga peace talks were also impacted by the incident on December 4, 2021 when six villagers returning from a coal mine were killed in an operation by para commandos of the Assam Rifles in Nagaland’s Mon district. Seven more were killed in Army firing after protests broke out. Nagaland and Naga-inhabited areas in neighbouring States saw a shutdown with a strong demand to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which gives unbridled power to the armed forces to conduct operations.
NSCN-IM described the incident in Mon as a “black day” for Nagas.