This article analyses the issue of Naga insurgency and the issues related to it.
ISSUE OF NAGA INSURGENCY
Nagas are culturally heterogeneous groups of different communities/tribes having a different set of problems from the mainstream population.They reside in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood states. They belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family of races.
- The demand for Naga nationalism had begun during British rule by formation of the Naga Club in 1918, and continued since onwards .
- In 1946, A Z Phizo established the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Naga independence on August 14, 1947, but later The NNC also splited into various groups such as NSCN(I-M) and NSCN (Khaplang) .
- Article 371A of the Indian Constitution provides them a special status.
What is Naga Issue?
- Prolong demand for a Greater Nagalim to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative setup, various parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Myanmar .
- They are also demanding a separate Naga Yezabo (Constitution) and Naga national flag.
Naga peace Initiatives
- Shillong Accord (1975): It was one of the first peace initiatives under which the NNC agreed to give up arms. However, it was not acceptable to all the leaders, and it ultimately led to the split of NNC.
- Ceasefire Agreement (1997):The NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement with the government to stop attacks on Indian armed forces. In return, the government would stop all counter-insurgency offensive operations.
- Framework Agreement (2015):This time, the Government of India recognised the unique culture, position and history of the Nagas and their aspirations and sentiments.
- The NSCN also appreciated the Indian political system and governance. However, the details of the agreement are yet to be released by the government.
- 2017 – This time under the banner of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs),six other armed naga outfits joined the talks.
- Recently, the State government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.
2015 ‘Framework agreement’
- The Central government signed a framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M),on August 3,2015 to resolve the Naga issue. This agreement made the peace process inclusive but it created suspicion about Delhi exploiting divisions within the Nagas on tribal and geopolitical lines.
Why is the ‘agreement’ in the news?
NSCN is not happy with Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi’s move. NSCN claimed that he took undue advantage and started manipulating the framework agreement; they wanted his removal .
Also, the NSCN (I-M) released the contents of the framework agreement. It has deleted the word ‘new’ from the original line that referred to “shared sovereignty” between India and the Naga homeland and established a new relationship of peaceful co-existence.
On other hand, the interlocutor, R.N. Ravi said that all important agreements on the peace deal were discussed and settled last October and only some minor issues are remaining.
In addition to that , they sent out a clear message to the Nagas that their demands are intact for which, did not take part in Shillong Agreement of 1975 and broke away from the Naga National Council
What are the other hurdles in peace ?
- NSCN (I-M) main emphasis is that the Nagas “will never merge with India”.
- The Assam government has a firm stance , not to give even an inch of land.
- Also, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union has warned against any territorial changes.
- Manipur Chief Minister recently also took the Centre’s assurance that the NSCN (I-M) peace deal with will not affect the territorial integrity of Manipur.
- The Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) inputs for a final solution might be different from the NSCN (I-M ).
- Holistic approach: The Central government should negotiate with all the factions and groups of the Insurgents to have a long-lasting peace.
- No preference to a particular group: With its past experience, Centre has realised that privileging one insurgent group could eventually distort the contours of the final peace accord .
- Decentralisation: Decentralisation of powers to the tribal heads and minimum centralisation at the apex level, which should mainly work towards facilitating governance and undertaking large development projects.
- A new body can be constituted that would look after the rights of the Nagas in the other north-eastern states besides Nagaland.