Naga civil society tells armed rebels to seal peace deal swiftly.
Guwahati: The Union home ministry has rejected the demand of a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland and has decided to conclude the ongoing peace talks with the Naga rebel groups soon, by the end of this year.
Saying that the Naga rebel groups have been insistent on their demand, authoritative security sources told this newspaper that Nagaland’s powerful civil society body had asked the armed rebel groups to sign the peace deal even if the Government of India does not agree to a separate flag and constitution for the state.
Noting that Naga civil society was firm in its opinion that a peace agreement between the Naga rebels and the Government of India should be signed at the earliest, security sources said they are of the view that the Naga people may continue to fight democratically for these issues, which could not be accommodated in the ongoing peace talks.
Refusing to comment on the frequent statements by the NSCN (I-M) in the media against the peace talks, the sources said that the posturing of the outfit before the media had various internal dynamics. “So far as the demand of a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland is concerned, the stand of the Government of India has also been clarified by Nagaland governor R.N. Ravi at a congregation of civil society groups on August 16,” a source said, adding: “The congregation, which was attended by members and representatives of all civil society groups of Nagaland, was called to felicitate Mr Ravi. In his address to the large gathering of civil society groups and their members, Mr Ravi had noted that the Government of India had not agreed to the demand for a separate flag and constitution.”
Indicating that the demand for a separate flag and constitution would not delay the peace process, the sources said all the Naga armed rebel groups engaged in the peace talks have also agreed to lay down arms.
Asserting that there will be only one solution to the Naga political problem, the sources said that the “Framework Agreement” signed and sealed on August 3, 2015 between the Centre and NSCN (I-M) had laid down the roadmap for the ongoing peace talks, which were now almost in the final stage.
NSCN (I-M) general secretary Muivah in a statement has also welcomed all stakeholders to be a part of the peace process. The outfit called on all rebel groups to resolve their differences and seize the opportunity in finding a solution.
The security sources also said the NSCN (I-M) leadership had often claimed that their statements had been blown out of proportion by the media.