Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM held a meeting with a government representative on Wednesday in an effort to find a permanent solution to the decades-old crippling problem, officials said. The NSCN-IM delegation led by senior leader VS Atem met interlocutor AK Mishra at an undisclosed location in the national capital.
The participants discussed the main demands of the rebel group, including a separate flag for the Nagas. Talks remained inconclusive and are likely to resume on Thursday, an official privy to the talks said.
The NSCN-IM delegation also requested the interlocutor to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The group’s top leader, Thuingleng Muivah, did not attend this round of the meeting.
The NSCN-IM, in its mouthpiece ‘Nagalim Voice’ on Tuesday, said it stood by its demand for uniting Naga-dominated areas for the Nagas and a separate flag and that no compromise could be reached on these. The NSCN-IM also said that it is “ironically” that the achievements of the Prime Minister “who likes to advertise” are expected to take the Naga issue to its logical conclusion as stalled “India-Naga talks” pick up threads. With a focus on framework agreements and drafted papers.
The Framework Agreement was signed on 3 August 2015 in the presence of the Prime Minister to find a permanent solution to the Naga issue. The group said that “Modi cannot just shy away” from the Naga issue, but look again through the prism of the framework agreement which is his “own political brainchild”.
“The credit he has taken in bringing the FA (Framework Agreement) must be interpreted to go ahead in resolving the Naga issue,” the editorial said. It said the NSCN-IM’s stand on the Framework Agreement has been repeatedly stated and the decision of the (Naga) “National Assembly” on 31 May and the solemn declaration (sankalp) adopted by the Naga National Workers on 26 August has been referred to. has been adopted. The State of Nagaland is on record, for ratifying the NSCN’s “One People One Nation” and standing by the Framework Agreement.
It said, “The unification principle of One Person, One Nation, embodied by the God-given Naga Nation Flag, is non-negotiable in the name of the Naga political solution.” Nagaland’s neighboring states – Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh – have strongly opposed the idea of integration of Naga inhabited areas under their jurisdiction.
The Framework Agreement came after more than 80 rounds of negotiations over 18 years, with the first breakthrough being in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland, which began soon after India’s independence in 1947. However, talks with the NSCN-IM were going nowhere as the group was pushing for a separate Naga flag and constitution, with the central government rejecting the demand.
Separately, the government is also holding peace talks with different groups of NSCN after entering into ceasefire agreements. The groups that have entered into ceasefire agreements are: NSCN-NK, NSCN-R, NSCN K-Khango and NSCN(K) Nikki.
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