OTHER STATES

‘Ambiguous’ Naga solution not acceptable: village elders’ body

The Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF), an association of village elders who wield significant clout at the grassroots level as custodians of customary laws, has said it will not accept a Naga solution that is “ambiguous and shrouded in mystery and secrecy”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the federation also said it “will not allow our land [Nagaland} and people to be eternally threatened by bullies with guns” while advising the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM) to be transparent, like its rival groups’ conglomerate, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

The NSCN (IM) calls itself the National Socialist Council of Nagalim.

The NGBF said it had not deviated from its position that the final agreement should be signed according to the October 31, 2019, understanding between the Centre and the two negotiating groups – the NSCN (IM) and the NNGPs – based on the August 2015 Framework Agreement.

“The Nagas will not be a party to any solution that is enforced and without transparency,” the federation said, adding that its members, at the September 4 meeting with NSCN (IM) chairman Q. Tuccu, asked all factions to “come under a single platform”.

It also advised the NSCN (IM) to “disclose to the Nagas the contents and blueprint of post-solution political and administrative structure” like the NNGPs had done by sharing its “status paper on Indo-Naga political talks”.

‘Naga nationhood’

Reminding of the role of Naga village chiefs in building the “Naga nationhood” for more than a century, the NGBF alluded to a “nefarious game plan by an unprincipled and uninformed group of people desperately trying to limit, discredit, marginalise and muffle” the traditionally-honoured voices and authority of Naga village chiefs.

The federation said the system of Gaon Bura (village chief) was institutionalised by the British in the Naga Hills much before India got independence. “The system has been retained as the premier traditional body in recognition of its authority,” it asserted.