'NIA has no authority to label NSCN (I-M) as terrorist organisation'

The NSCN (I-M) “stands tall and unflinching”, keeping in view the fruition of the 23 years of Naga political talks that is moving towards a logical conclusion, the group stated in a release..

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been recklessly trailing the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (I-M) to stigmatise and label the organisation as a “terrorist” organization, the NSCN (I-M) said in a release.

The group Information and Publicity Ministry stated that the NSCN (I-M) “stands tall and unflinching”, keeping in view the fruition of the 23 years of Naga political talks that is moving towards a logical conclusion. The NSCN (I-M) thus have the dignity to set the record straight before the world domain, it stated.

Thanks to the Government of India, the Naga political talks continue unhindered, notwithstanding the change of political leadership, it stated.

Important milestone was achieved with the signing of the Amsterdam Joint Communiqué of July 11, 2002 and the Government of India recognised the ‘Unique history and situation of the Nagas’. This official recognition of the unique history and situation of the Nagas was the first realistic step forward in the political negotiation, it added.

Expressing strong disapproval, the group asked, “Who gave the sanction to NIA to put the tag ‘terrorist’ against NSCN?” The NIA came into being in 2008 following the terror attack in Mumbai. By then, the Naga political talk had taken deep root as the talk was started in 1997 in the spirit of mutual trust and respect, the release stated.

As agreed upon, the NSCN (I-M) is no longer a banned organisation that NIA can dabble with, it stated, adding, legally and politically, the NIA has no authority to label the NSCN (I-M) as a terrorist organisation.

For its historical and political legitimacy, the Government of India entered into political negotiations with NSCN (I-M). For the same reason, the organisation was admitted into the fold of UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization). The UNPO has given no qualification to any organisation to become its bona fide member if it uses terrorism as an instrument of policy, the release pointed out.

Besides being a member of UNPO, the NSCN (I-M) is also a signatory of the Geneva Call ‘Deed of Commitment’ wherein the NSCN (I-M) gave the commitment to non-use of uncontrolled anti-personnel mines.

It would be a breach of trust and commitment on the part of the government if it allows the NIA to run amok to fool the world communities and undo the hard-earned achievement of the Naga political talks spanning over 23 years. Thus, it would be a matter of credibility and seriousness for the Government of India to rein in the NIA to stop forthwith its slanderous campaign against the NSCN (I-M).

The release further stated that the NIA’s repeated slander against NSCN (I-M) is sending out a confusing signal. NSCN (I-M) puts on record that this misplaced tag ‘terrorist’ against the organisation is clarified. The NIA must be reminded that when the government of India and NSCN (I-M) signed the ceasefire, there was also agreement on ‘Agreed Ground Rules’ for the ceasefire, it stated.

The principle understanding was that all present NIA cases are placed under the purview of the Agreed Ground Rules which should be resolved within its mechanism that is officially headed by the special secretary, Internal Security (MHA), the Government of India as the chairman for Ceasefire Review Meeting and chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG), the release added.

First Published:June 14, 2020, 11:51 p.m.

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