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Naga talks: NSCN-IM, civil society groups to jointly commemorate 'Naga Plebiscite' after 73 years

The NSCN-IM has been commemorating the day at its 'headquarters' at Hebron near Dimapur but for the first time the group has invited civil society organisations.
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 15:44 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 15:44 IST

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Guwahati: The Naga insurgent group in ceasefire, NSCN-IM and several influential civil society organisations will jointly commemorate the 'Naga Plebiscite' of 1951 on Thursday (May 16) after 73 years, amid growing discomfort with the Centre over the talks to end the 76-year-old Naga conflict.

Hitherto, the NSCN-IM has been commemorating the day at its 'headquarters' at Hebron near Dimapur but for the first time the group invited civil society organisations such as Council of Naga Churches, Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers' Association, Naga Students Federation and Global Naga Forum.

United Naga Council, Manipur, Tirap Changlang Longding People's Front, Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Naga People's Front and Naga People's Organisation, Myanmar are also some other important invitees for the event. 

The event will be organised at NSCN-IM 'headquarters' at Hebron where the leaders and cadres of the group have been lodged since they signed a ceasefire with the government in 1997. 

Sources within NSCN told Deccan Herald that the issues which are emerging out of the ongoing talks with the government would be discussed with the 'stakeholders' and 'important decisions' are likely to be taken over what their future course of action should be.

This comes days after NSCN-IM alleged that the Centre was trying to "backtrack and disown" the 2015 Framework Agreement that sought to find a "final solution" to the conflict. The Framework Agreement was signed in New Delhi on August 3, 2015 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top NSCN-IM leaders to end the country's longest conflict.

The group claimed that both the Government of India and the NSCN-IM agreed upon the coexistence of the two entities (Nagas and Indians) who will be "sharing sovereign power" but the Centre is now backtracking. 

NSCN-IM refutes NIA claim:

In a statement on Wednesday, the NSCN-IM refuted reports in which the NIA claimed that the China-Myanmar module of the Naga outfit helped Meitei outfits in conflict-hit Manipur.

"This is a proxy war of Indian security forces against NSCN-IM in the name of Kuki National Army (KNA-B) and People's Defence Front (PDF) of Myanmar."

The statement claimed that Indian security forces were "raining bombs" on NSCN positions in Myanmar in the name of targeting KNA (B) and PDF. "The Indian security forces do not want the Naga Army to be stationed in the Myo Thittab area in Myanmar," it further said.  

Talks in limbo 

The NSCN-IM have made it clear on several occasions that its 'core demands' such a separate flag and Constitution (called Yehjabo) for the Nagas and "integration" of the Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast, is non-negotiable. But the Centre categorically rejected the demands and offered the Nagas to only symbolically use their flag and constitution for reaching a final solution. 

Nagas declared "independence" in 1947 and launched an armed movement in which hundreds of Nagas and security forces died in the conflict that followed. This violence continued till 1997 when the NSCN-IM agreed for a ceasefire agreement with the Centre and continued negotiations.

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Published 15 May 2024, 15:44 IST

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