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Naga rebel group says no compromise on flag, Constitution issue

Many Naga groups, including the NSCN-IM, claim that the Nagas were never part of India and had even declared Independence on August 14, 1947
Last Updated : 01 June 2022, 03:02 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2022, 03:02 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2022, 03:02 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2022, 03:02 IST

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The National Socialist Council of Nagaland, NSCN-IM, on Tuesday, said it has decided to “uphold and protect Naga's unique history and national principle at any cost”.

The Naga nationalist separatist group, which is currently in ceasefire with the Centre, could be hinting that it would not compromise on its demand for a recognised Naga flag, and a separate Constitution, in order to end the decades-old conflict.

The rebel group made the decision at the "emergency" meeting at its “General Assembly” that had been convened to decide its "response" to the Centre's refusal to accept NSCN-IM's demands.

“As compelled by unpredictable situation, the Naga people are bound to take national decision to uphold and protect Naga unique history and Naga national principle at any cost (sic)," the outfit said in a statement.

Although the outfit did not outright say there was no compromise, there were implications in the speech by NSCN-IM chairman Q Tuccu: “How can we forfeit Naga National Flag and Naga Constitution in the name of Naga political solution? What belongs to us that define our political identity can never be compromised for the sweet morsel in the name of Naga political settlement. We can not be made a laughing stock before the world by tamely succumbing to pressure or temptation. (sic)”

It is reported that during negotiations, the Centre had proposed that it was ready to accept the Naga flag as a “cultural flag” which was turned down by the NSCN-IM on May 26.

Many Naga groups, including the NSCN-IM, claim that the Nagas were never part of India and had even declared Independence on August 14, 1947, after the British had left India. The NSCN-IM, which had been leading an armed fight for a separate land, signed a ceasefire in 1997. Their leaders and cadres have been lodged in a camp at Hebron near Dimapur in Nagaland since then.

In August 2015, the central government had signed a “Framework Agreement" with the NSCN-IM in New Delhi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Based on this framework, a final agreement was to be signed. But the NSCN-IM’s insistence on its “core demands” for a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas has delayed the process.

The Centre, in 2017, had signed another preliminary agreement with Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), a forum of seven other rebel groups. The NNPG was not insistent about a separate flag and Constitution.

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Published 31 May 2022, 17:14 IST

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