Talks about Naga Constitution and flag underway with the Government of India, says NSCN-IM

Early this year talks were at a stalemate and only progressed after the decision to hold informal talks was taken; the NSCN-IM had sought a replacement for R.N Ravi, who is currently the interlocutor of peace talks, along with the Governor of Naga...

Agencies
GUWAHATI: Naga separatist group National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) has said that talks regarding the Naga flag and Constitution are underway with the Government of India, in all seriousness.

“NSCN has made its stand very loud and clear - there is no way forward in Indo-Naga talks, without finalising the Naga flag and Constitution,” said the outfit; they are currently in informal talks with the GoI.

“What is there for the Naga people to gain from the deal, if we are to lose our political identity (the flag and Constitution)? This is the question that is on the conscience of the Naga people at large,” they added.


Early this year talks were at a stalemate and only progressed after the decision to hold informal talks was taken; the NSCN-IM had sought a replacement for R.N Ravi, who is currently the interlocutor of peace talks, along with the Governor of Nagaland.

The Centre had earlier ruled out a separate flag and Constitution. But, there have been a series of informal talks between Intelligence Bureau officials and NSCN-IM leaders recently.

Thuingaleng Muivah, NSCN-IM General Secretary, had written a letter to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi - seeking his intervention - in February. The letter asked the Prime Minister if the Nagas' stay in India is unwelcome, necessary arrangements must be made for them to leave, and for political talks to be resumed in a third country.
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"We had mentioned in our proposal that Nagaland shall use its national flag, anthem, emblem and insignia. We also proposed that this agreement shall constitute a constitution which shall be called Yehzabo, covering the areas of its own competencies," said Muviah, in his eight-page letter.

“NSCN members who are in talks are being branded as terrorists, this is a calculated policy to downgrade the talks to the level of a law and order issue. There is repeated militarization and a conscious carrying out of state terrorism in the Naga areas and against the Naga people through show of force, arrest and allegations against NSCN members for terror funding, imposing check gates, frequent raids using jet fighters and tanks," he wrote, complaining about the activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and its agencies including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Assam Rifles.

“The activities of the PMO representatives of the GOI after his appointment as the Governor of Nagaland has become a matter of great concern as he is consciously functioning within law and order purview of the Constitution of India. It is a deliberate deviation from his appointment as representative of the GOI for Indo-Naga peace talks. The activities if the representative is polarising the naga society instead of unity the Nagas for an honourable political solution,” Muviah wrote.

Alleging that the interlocutor has left out main stakeholders in the consultation process, Muviah said that he is hobnobbing with Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) for an agreement.
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“The latest episode of the MHA which through a missive to the Nagaland government questioned our presence in Dimapur. We are in Nagaland to meet our own people vis–a-vis the peace process," he added.
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