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NSCN (IM) slams Centre on peace process as Army chief visits Nagaland

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi. File.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM) has slammed the Centre for being “ambivalent” about resolving the 23-year-old Naga political issue.

The fresh attack by the extremist group was timed with the visit of General Manoj Mukund Naravane, the Chief of Army Staff, to Nagaland on issues related to peace, tranquillity and security in the State.

In a statement issued late Tuesday evening, the NSCN (IM) criticised the directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs to the paramilitary Assam Rifles to intensify operations against the Naga groups. This, along with the Centre’s ambivalent attitude, has become the “boiling point of the conflict” after more than 23 years of political talks since the signing of a ceasefire agreement in 1997, the outfit said.

Reminding the Centre of the Framework Agreement signed in August 2015, the NSCN (IM) said it “is a living document” for taking the two negotiating entities through for the final solution.

“The Naga political issue cannot be undermined in such a manner that contradicts the well-established historical and political rights of the Nagas spread across Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar,” the outfit said. It insisted that the solution needed a push for the final deal through a political will from the Centre since the “Nagas have come this far in search of peaceful solution”.

The government of India, the NSCN (IM) said, has instead chosen to “waver” and show signs of “weakness and insincerity”.

The peace process high a rough patch a few months ago on the issue of shared sovereignty that would enable the Naga-inhabited areas to have a separate flag and a separate Naga constitution.

The NSCN (IM)’s statement followed General Naravane’s meeting with Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in State capital Kohima on Tuesday.

A Defence spokesperson said the General assured the wholehearted support of the Army and the Assam Rifles in maintaining peace and tranquility in Nagland and ensuring security along the India-Myanmar border. The Army chief had earlier visited military installations in Nagaland and Manipur for assessing the ground situation.

The General returned to New Delhi on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 2:32:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nscn-im-slams-centre-on-peace-process-as-army-chief-visits-nagaland/article33177445.ece

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