Other States

NSCN (I-M) calls shutdown over slow progress of peace process

Parts of Manipur and Nagaland shut down on Tuesday to protest against the lack of progress in the Naga peace process.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN (I-M) had called the 12-hour shutdown on the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015. Most shops and commercial establishments were closed across ‘Nagalim’, a term for Naga-inhabited areas across the northeast.

NNPG areas ignore call

According to reports, the shutdown had minimal effect in Zunheboto and Mon districts. These districts are dominated by communities that comprise the bulk of the members of the rival Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), which had asked traders to keep their establishments open or face action.

The NSCN (I-M) said the Framework Agreement was the outcome of several rounds of discussions with the Centre since 1997 toward an honourable solution to the “Indo-Naga” political problem.

“Now, the time has come again calling upon the Government of India to open the door for executing the Framework Agreement with all honesty and not resort to misinterpretation to suit its own convenience,” the outfit said in a statement.

“The political exigency is for the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi to appoint his representative(s) to pick up the political talk with the NSCN talks team and take the Framework Agreement to a logical conclusion,” the statement said.

The NSCN-IM has been rigid about its demands for a separate Naga flag and constitution — issues over which the Centre has reservations.

The shut down in parts of Manipur was supported by Naga students and other Naga social organisations with nobody was allowed to walk or drive in all “Naga inhabited” areas.

Territory issues

Meanwhile, Joychandra Konthoujam, president of United Committee Manipur said, “We have no objections to attempts to bring about peace. However, there will be violent movements if the FA contains anything against the interest of Manipur or if the government tries to enforce it against the wishes of the people”.

Mr. Konthoujam recalled that the three words “without territorial limits” added to the ceasefire agreement with NSCN(IM) during a meeting on June 14, 2001 held at Bangkok were unilaterally withdrawn by the Indian government on June 23, 2001. It followed violent protests on June 18,2001 when 17 men and one woman were killed and many others were wounded — some sustaining life changing injuries.

He further said that the UCM and all sections of people welcome peace initiatives. But it should not be at the cost of the larger interest of the people. The FA cannot be brought to a logical conclusion as yet in view of the strong opposition by the UCM and other sections of the people.

Police beefed up security measures in all trouble prone areas to ensure that there is no untoward incident during the 12-hour total shutdown. Reports from other Naga dominated districts say that the shutdown was total.

(With inputs from Iboyaima Laithangbam in Imphal)

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 2:07:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nscn-i-m-calls-shutdown-over-slow-progress-of-peace-process/article35703746.ece

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