Rebels to Nagaland legislators: Spell out stand on peace process or quit

The WC of the NNPGs said it was imperative the lawmakers come forward and clearly express their stand given that the Naga society is yearning for an early settlement to the protracted problem.

Published: 28th October 2019 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2019 06:58 PM   |  A+A-

Naga tribesmen hold Naga flags. (PTI file photo used for representational purpose only)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: As the developments surrounding Naga talks are reaching a crescendo, an umbrella organisation of seven rebel groups in Nagaland has asked the state’s legislators to spell out their position on the peace process or resign as lawmakers.

The statement by the Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) came amidst the stalemate in the talks between the Centre and insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) on the twin contentious issues of “Naga national flag” and Naga “yezabo” (constitution).

The WC of the NNPGs said it was imperative the lawmakers “come forward and clearly express their stand” given that the Naga society is yearning for an early settlement to the protracted problem.

It said, “The position and status of the elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm” nor can they “choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way” when the various Naga tribes have already spelt out their position. It added that if the political parties of Nagaland “fail in their constitutional duties and obligations, they should resign and allow the Election Commission to derecognise the parties”.

The NSCN-IM and the WC of the NNPGs are divided on the demands of Naga national flag and Naga constitution. The NSCN-IM is non-flexible on the two issues but the WC of the NNPGs favour an early solution. It categorically stated that the two issues could be pursued post-settlement. The Centre has already rejected the demands.

Meanwhile, the influential All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) said the Naga agreement should not affect Arunachal and its people in any way.

The AAPSU made it clear that it would oppose any attempts to alter the state’s territorial jurisdiction or any kind of administrative intervention in the state. Earlier, several organisations in Manipur had asserted that they would oppose tooth and nail any step by the Centre that disturbs the state’s interests, including territorial integrity.

The Nagas have a sizeable population in Manipur, Arunachal and Assam and the three neighbours of Nagaland are worried by the developments surrounding Naga talks.

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