'Government of India opposing taxations by NSCN (I-M) violates Framework Agreement'

The NSCN (I-M) questioned why India should interfere in the internal matters of the sovereign Naga people.

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The NSCN (I-M) on Wednesday announced that it is not working for packages from the Government of India but for an honorable and acceptable political settlement with India and the nominal taxations will continue as it is.

In a release issued by the ministry of information and publicity, NSCN (I-M) questioned why India should interfere in the internal matters of the sovereign Naga people.  

The Government of India opposing taxations by the NSCN (I-M) instantly violates the Framework Agreement, wherein the two entities agreed to coexist peacefully as two different entities sharing sovereign power, NSCN (I-M) stated, adding that taxation is the legitimate right of every government of a nation state.

The Nagas declared their independence status as a sovereign nation one day ahead of India and defended its sovereign right thus far, it stated. The Naga nation does not require permission from the Government of India for taxation, it further stated, adding the matter remains loud and clear that at no point of time the Nagas became Indians either by conquest or consent.

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It is highly unbecoming of the governor of Nagaland desperately trying to criminalise the Naga political movement by questioning the taxation right of the NSCN (I-M). Thus, it is too far fetched for the governor of Nagaland to issue such an outrageous statement on taxation, it added.

The Naga political movement did not start yesterday, necessitating the unwarranted statement on the taxation issue, which is the birth right of the sovereign Naga people, the release stated.  

It is worth mentioning that during the course of Naga political talks, passing through the hands of three interlocutor-ships, this taxation right was acknowledged indicating that NSCN (I-M) has the right to tax to carry on its movement and no fuss was made out of it. The press statement issued by the Governor’s office contradicts this stand which violates the spirit of the hard earned Naga talks crossing more than 23 years, it added.

It stated that following the signing of the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015, this taxation was included in the competencies. No one can deny these factual records of the Framework Agreement and the competencies. No wonder, the Framework Agreement mentioned the sharing of sovereign power and declared that according to the universal principle in democracy sovereignty lies with the people, it added.

Surprisingly, the governor’s act came after more than 23 years of Naga political dialogue. Placed under this situation, NSCN puts on record to go back to the history to point out that taxation is something which is deeply rooted in the history of the Naga resistance movement even before the Naga National Council (NNC) came into the scene, it stated.  

It further stated that as brought about by the 23 years of Naga political talks, the Nagas’ stand for sovereign existence is before the world domain and not a question of obscurity.

It has become pertinent to mention the background of Naga history to drive home the point that tax collection was the inherent part of the Nagas way of political existence as sovereign people since time immemorial in order to manage its own affairs, it added.  

The NSCN (I-M) collected taxes to support the Naga people’s political movement which started in 1929 even before India got independence from the British. Opposing the Naga tax is nothing short of obstructing the Naga political movement and to let the Naga people to be enslaved by India, it added.

Taxation was there during the Naga National Council (NNC) time and now under National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) which has taken over to spearhead the Naga political movement, it stated.  

First Published:June 23, 2021, 9:48 p.m.

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