NSCN-IM accuses Centre’s interlocutor of misinforming people

KOHIMA: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) on Wednesday accused the Central Government’s representative for peace talks of “giving wrong interpretation in order to confuse the common people”.

Without mentioning the name of Central Government representative and former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau AK Mishra, the dominant Naga outfit said in a statement: “NSCN leaders have categorically stated time and again that they will uphold the Framework Agreement (signed on August 3, 2015) in letter and spirit.

“But the representatives of the Government of India have started giving wrong interpretations in order to confuse the common people. We, too, feel apprehensive about the clandestine plot of imposing another accord on the Nagas or hijacking the issue through their surrogates. The Nagas are again placed at a critical juncture where they have to make a decision to save their national future or perish. This is going to be the turning point of history. And now is the time to decide our destiny.”

In his second week-long visit from April 18, Mishra met Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, leaders of the NSCN-IM, Naga National Political Groups, core committee on Naga political issues, as well as the Naga civil society and discussed the matter.

The NSCN-IM, in its statement on Wednesday, said that on the eve of the British departure, the Naga people took a decisive decision and declared their independence on August 14, 1947. In 1950, the Constituent Assembly invited the Nagas to join the Union of India, but the Naga people outright rejected the invitation. “That historic decision saved the future of the Nagas,” it said.

“In 1960, a section of Nagas made an agreement with the Government of India called the 16-point agreement, betraying the Naga national principle. But it was rejected and condemned by the Naga people. On November 11, 1975, another agreement called the Shillong Accord was made to be signed within the parameters of the Indian Constitution.

“The National Assembly, held on August 16, 1976, condemned the Shillong Accord as a sell-out and reaffirmed the national principle. Had it not been condemned by the national assembly and saved the nation, the history and the future of the Nagas would have been murdered by that very accord of treason,” the statement said.

After an ‘Emergency National Assembly’ was held on Tuesday at its General Headquarters at Hebron Camp, near Dimapur, the NSCN-IM said: “How can we forfeit the Naga national flag and Naga Constitution in the name of Naga political solution? What belongs to us… that defines our political identity can never be compromised for the sweet morsel in the name of Naga political settlement. We cannot be made a laughing stock before the world by tamely succumbing to pressure or temptation.”

The NSCN-IM’s repeated insistence on a separate Naga flag and Constitution have become a big hurdle in the way of resolving the Naga issue.

CONGRESS’ DEMAND: Meanwhile, the chorus for dismissal of the Neiphiu Rio-led NDPP-BJP-NPF ‘Opposition-less’ Government in Nagaland is growing. Now arch rivals and marginalized State Congress says tht the Rio Ministry should be dismissed.

Chief Minister Rio’s political problems are growing by the day and more and more voices are coming out demanding the dismissal of his Government.

Nagaland Congress president Kewekhape Therie’s claim that the Legislative Assembly and the State Government are allegedly run by ‘super government’, that is the NSCN-IM, will mount pressure on the BJP and Narendra Modi-led Centre as well.

The BJP has been Rio’s ally since 2003. Initially Rio, or for that matter even Therie, were in the Naga People’s Front (NPF).

While Therie fell out with Rio within a short span of the regional party coming to power and he walked back to the Congress’ fold, Rio parted ways with NPF in December, 2017 barely two months before 2018 Assembly polls. “There is a ‘super government’ directing the Nagaland Legislative Assembly… This is not a people’s Government,” Therie said at a press conference at Kohima on Wednesday.

Referring to the NSCN-IM statement made a few days ago, he said for 17 years now it appears that the Nagaland Assembly is playing the role of facilitators as “assigned by the NSCN-IM”.

“I had expected that the Chief Minister will react, but this is the fourth day, he has not reacted,” Therie said.

Therie referred to the NSCN-IM statement issued on May 27 where it accused legislators of “overstepping their role as facilitator” and going beyond their “assigned roles” in making bewildering statements on Naga solution.

He said the NSCN-IM’s accusation was an admission that the group was running the State government and the State authorities continued to fund the group with money from development funds and also allowing extortion systematically.

“If he (Rio) represents nothing, then why should he sit on the chair of the people’s Government? He (Rio) should be dismissed,” the Congress leader said.

Observers say it goes without stating that for BJP to continue in a regime that is allegedly working at the behest of NSCN-IM or is “assigned” by the militant organization.

Even otherwise, a section of BJP leaders have been pressing for President’s Rule in the State. (IANS)

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