The signing of Framework Agreement between Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah faction - NSCN-IM) and the Modi government completed three years on Friday with skepticism looming large on the fate of festering wound of the Naga self-determination.
The apex body of the tribals - Naga Hoho in a statement on Thursday said that the Union Government could still try to buy "more time" citing conflict of interest among Nagas. The Framework Agreement, signed on August 3, 2015 between NSCN (IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and Centre's negotiator R N Ravi essentially highlights acceptance of the “uniqueness of Naga history and culture” by the central government and the acceptance of the primacy of the Indian Constitution.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home headed by former Union Minister P Chidambaram of Congress was recently briefed by Mr Ravi that the Article 371(A) of the Constitution makes it clear that Nagas ought to be treated as a 'special' community. The panel was also told “some special arrangements would be made for the Nagas, wherever they are.”
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who runs a coalition government with the BJP, has said that the Naga issueis not a law and order problem and the Modi government has understood this and has also appreciated the 'uniqueness' of the Naga history.
Addressing a cultural programme at Mokokchung town, he further said that the talks which began in 1997 and was given a push by the Framework Agreement in 2015 by the Modi government has now reached 'advanced stage'.
The Naga demand for an independent state dates back to British rule when they wanted to remain outside the Indian federation. After a prolonged rebellion, in 1963 Nagaland state was formed but guerrilla warfare remained.The Naga insurgency has been largely an attempt to form a "Greater Nagalim" or 'Naga state incorporating Nagaland and parts of Naga-inhabited areas of Myanmar and the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The government of India entered into a peace process with NSCN (IM) way back in 1997 but a solution has been evasive all these 21 years.
Another faction NSCN (Khaplang) has however walked out of the peace parleys and has been often attacking security forces. (UNI)