GUWAHATI: Virtually shutting the door on any progress in the talks with the NSCN-IM, Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the Centre’s interlocutor in Naga peace talks, said that “there is and there shall be only one national flag and constitution in India”.
On Monday, on the eve of the 58th Statehood Day of Nagaland, Ravi had said: “The Indian national flag and Constitution are the pride of the people of India. The government is absolutely clear that there is and there shall be only one national flag and constitution.” Hitting back on Tuesday, the NSCN-IM insisted that the Nagas must have a sovereign territory, constitution and national flag as agreed upon in the Framework Agreement signed with the Centre in 2015.
“We cannot agree more with R N Ravi when he said India as a nation should have a sovereign territory, one constitution and one national flag. Indeed in the same breath, Nagaland/Nagalim too must have sovereign territory, one constitution and one national flag within which the two must share sovereign powers and coexist as two entities as agreed upon in the Framework Agreement,” it said.
Meanwhile, Ravi, on Tuesday, was effusive in his praise of the leaders of erstwhile Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC), stating that their blood, sweat and sacrifices had created Nagaland. The NSCN-IM has always been critical of them.
He was at a function on the occasion of Nagaland’s Statehood Day and in the presence of former CM SC Jamir, the only surviving signatory of 16-Point deal which led to Nagaland’s creation as a state in 1963.
The NSCN-IM was quick to react, saying Ravi’s statement reminded the Nagas of how, under the leadership of AZ Phizo, the war of resistance by the Nagas against “Indian colonialists” was manipulated by Intelligence Bureau officials who had roped in some “treacherous” Naga individuals leading to the formation of the NPC.