Naga political issue is not law and order problem: NSCN-IM

“Any Indian Interlocutor” who represents the Government of India needs to prove himself as a man who stands committed to solve the longest political conflict in Southeast Asia, the NSCN-IM said..

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on Saturday reiterated that the Naga political issue is not a "law and order problem”.  

“Any Indian Interlocutor” who represents the Government of India needs to prove himself as a man who stands committed to solve the longest political conflict in Southeast Asia. "But if he finds pleasure to handle the Naga issue as a ‘law and order’ problem he is not the right person to solve the long standing Indo-Naga problem,” the NSCN-IM said in a release.

The statement was issued through the organisations’s Ministry of Information and Publicity (MIP) on Saturday.

“Such an Indian Interlocutor will rather complicate and prolong the process which is not the desire of both the Indians and the Nagas,” the NSCN-IM said.

The organisation then reminded that 23 years of Indo-Naga political talks have come down in the history of the world as the longest period of political negotiations. “Down the line, significant achievement was made. But the complexity of the issue delayed the process of finalizing the agreement,” it said.

According to the NSCN-IM, notwithstanding the exasperating time taken to strike the final deal, it was the most peaceful period in the history of Naga political movement spanning over seventy (70) years, said the statement. “However, taking advantage of peaceful environment created by the Indo-Naga ceasefire there were offshoots of pseudo-nationalists tagged with high sounding names. But in the long run they proved themselves nothing less than commercialized organizations least connected with the Naga political issue,” it further said. The NSCN-IM statement added that nobody cried foul against “such mushrooming of mercenary groups which is the root cause of the problem today that smears the ongoing Indo-Naga political process”. The statement further added that NSCN-IM is the recognized and legitimate national organization of the Naga people and not a gang.

Recalling the past, the statement of the NSCN-IM pointed out that the first Indo-Naga Ceasefire agreement was signed on 6th September, 1964 for political dialogue.  “Mrs. Indira Gandhi herself took up the issue as she sat together across the table with the Naga delegates led by Mr. Kughato Sukhai, the then Ato Kilonser of Nagalim. However, the peace talks failed. It was after a gap of thirty three (33) years that the Indo-Naga political talks resumed during the premiership of Mr. PV. Narasimha Rao, who initiated to establish contact with the NSCN in 1995 resulting in declaration of the second Indo-Naga Ceasefire on August 1, 1997,” the statement added. 

According to the NSCN-IM, so far the Indo-Naga political talks have passed into the hands of six (6) Prime Ministers of India. “Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel got brighter when the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, supervised and guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This agreement recognized the sovereign right of the Naga people on the basis of the unique history of the Nagas and stressed on peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power,” the statement added.

The NSCN-IM statement then said that “what is significantly important is the inherent right of any sovereign people and nation to collect taxes from the people and commercial establishments”. It added that this is the universal practice as seen all over the world. According to the NSCN-IM, taxes have been the sources of sustenance that has brought the Naga political movement this far. It also claimed that this was legitimately acknowledged by the earlier Interlocutors and Indian authorities and it was never an issue. “What has complicated the situation as seen today is the madness of ‘extortions’ that are being carried out by some groups in the guise of freedom fighters. NSCN did not and does not commit extortion at any point of time but levies legitimate taxes from the people,” the NSCN-IM clarified.

According to the NSCN-IM, in the history of UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) which is the parallel organization to the UN (United Nations) to which “NSCN is a bona fide member”, no gang has found its place as member. “Only legitimate political organizations of peoples and nations are admitted in the fold of UNPO. Many pseudo-organizations tried to find their way into UNPO but failed to pass the final scrutiny,” the NSCN-IM added.

First Published:June 27, 2020, 10:13 p.m.