'Nagas don't accept Constitution, share sovereignty'

A member of NSCN-IM prays during the Christ Council of Nagalim Churches' Prayer Summit at Dimapur, Nagaland. (PTI Photo)

The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) on Wednesday said Nagas do not accept Indian Constitution but will share sovereignty to co-exist as two entities.

"No one should doubt that the Framework Agreement is the meeting point for the Nagas and the Indians. The Nagas and the Indians are inseparably interrelated in many fields. We must learn to co-exist for mutual benefits.  The Nagas will not merge into the Union of India, but they will co-exist with the Union of India as two entities. Nagas are a recognized entity. Nagas do not accept Indian constitution, but Nagas and Indians will share sovereign powers based on competencies," the rebel group, which is in talks with the Centre since 1997, said in a statement emailed to DH.

The statement comes days after the outfit said discussion on the core issues of separate flag and Constitution for Nagas was key for an honourable solution to the decades-old political conflict. 

The NSCN (IM) signed a framework agreement with Narendra Modi government in August 2015 and is expecting a final agreement soon. Naganand governor and the Centre's interlocutor, R N Ravi recently said Prime Minister Modi asked him to complete the Naga peace talks within three months.

Although the framework agreement was signed with the NSCN (IM), the Centre wants other "stakeholders" in Nagaland for a comprehensive solution. 

But the outfit's statement said, "The talk is between the Government of India and the NSCN as two entities. And literally speaking, the question of stakeholders does not arise. NSCN represents the Naga people including village chiefs, civil societies/organizations, political parties and the Churches whereas the Government of India represents India including its states." 

The outfit, however, said every possible ways must be explored to find the long-cherished solution. "It will be a great loss for both the parties in terms of time, labour, money and life if we miss this turn of opportunity. The ‘Framework Agreement’ officially signed and sealed between the GoI and NSCN is the meeting point for the war-ridden Indians and the Nagas on the one hand and the uniting point for the divided Nagas on the other," it said. 

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