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‘Naga Independence Day’ celebrated in Nagaland, Manipur

The 74th ‘Naga Independence Day’ was celebrated in Nagaland and parts of Manipur on Friday amid a renewed push for a final solution to the long-drawn Naga political issue involving several extremist groups.

The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) led the celebration in Nagaland by hoisting the ‘Naga national flag’, which is one of the demands made by Naga organisations for an “honourable” solution to the 23-year-old peace process.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN (IM) had in mid-1997 declared a ceasefire with the Indian government to end almost five decades of an armed movement. Other extremist groups came on board since 2001 but the Myanmar-based NSCN (Khaplang) faction reneged on the truce in March 2015.

While tribe and area-based Naga organisations unfurled the “national” flag in parts Manipur where Nagas are in a majority, the Global Naga Federation marked the day elsewhere in the country and abroad.

The NSF had earlier asked all its federating and subordinate units to hoist the Naga national flag and send the compliance report along with pictorial evidence to its office for documentation. “We regret our inability to commemorate the Naga Independence Day with programmes due to the COVID-19 pandemic that calls for maintaining social distancing,” the federation had said.

The NSCN factions and their predecessor Naga National Council say the Nagas had declared their independence on August 14, 1947 and that 99.9% of the Nagas had voted in favour of a sovereign nation during a plebiscite in 1951.

Nagaland had attained statehood in 1963. The moderates signed the Shillong Accord in 1975, seen as the first peace agreement, but the hardliners had rejected it outright and continued with the armed movement for Naga sovereignty.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 2:45:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/naga-independence-day-celebrated-in-nagaland-manipur/article32354930.ece

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