We're Live Bangla Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Separate flag, constitution are must: Naga rebel group hardens stance

REPORT-1-ENG-19-09-2020-Naga
NSCN-IM chief Thuingaleng Muivah

Nagaland's foremost armed rebel group involved in the peace talks, the NSCN-IM, on Friday said that without a separate flag and Yehzabo (constitution), the peace deal with the Indian government will not lead to an honourable solution.

A joint council meeting of the NSCN-IM on Friday deliberated on the "historical and political rights of the Naga people" and how the "Indo-Naga political talks" reached this far.

The meeting was held at the central headquarters in Hebron near Dimapur in Nagaland. The hardened stand of the NSCN-IM comes at a time when the peace talks have been hit a deadlock because of differences between the group and the interlocutor RN Ravi, the governor of Nagaland.

"The house had unanimously adopted the resolution to reiterate the stand of NSCN-IM that the 'Naga national flag and Yehzabo (constitution) must form a part of the Indo-Naga political solution in order to qualify the Naga deal as honourable and acceptable," NSCN-IM said in a press statement.

They also added that the centre and the NSCN-IM must seek a "final agreement" based on the historic Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015.

This comes at a time when a delegation of top leaders of NSCN-IM, including General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, are camping in New Delhi for taking forward the talks with officials of the Home Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau, without Mr Ravi.

The idea is to iron out differences and work towards a possible final deal for the talks that have been on since 1997, sources said.

Last month, in a radical departure from the government line on the subject, NSCN-IM had claimed that the centre had recognised the sovereignty of the Naga people through the framework agreement signed in 2015 which agreed that the Nagas will co-exist but not merge with India.

Meanwhile, according to government sources, the joint platform of other Naga armed groups Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) have said they are ready to sign the peace deal without the flag and constitution.