GUWAHATI, SEPTEMBER 13: The Government of India has made it clear that it would not be possible to give separate flag and constitution to Nagaland as a part of the agreement with the militant groups of the state. Meanwhile, the Government is keen on signing formal agreement with the militant groups as soon as possible for political solution of the problems.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that the Government has made its position on separate flag and constitution to the leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M)) and Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), a common platform of 6 Naga rebel groups. Nagaland Governor RN Ravi also made the Government’s stand clear on the issue of separate flag and constitution in a function held on August 16 to felicitate him, sources pointed out.
Sources said that though the leaders of the militant groups are insisting on separate flag and constitution, the Government is not in a mood to relent and mainly that issue is delaying signing of the agreement with the rebels. “It is a fact that the Government is keen on signing the final agreement with the rebel groups as soon as possible and the target of the Centre is to complete the peace process within the next 2 to 3 months. But there is no question of giving separate flag and constitution as a part of the agreement,” sources added.
However, at the same time, sources said that the Government of India would never withdraw Article 371 from the North East region. Article 371 was a commitment of the Government of India to the North East region and there is no question of withdrawing it, sources said. Sources also said that certain persons and organisations are trying to create confusion among the people after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir. “Article 370 was a special arrangement but Article 371 was a commitment of the Government of India. There is no question of withdrawal of any of the provisions under Article 371,” sources asserted.
Meanwhile, sources said that the civil society groups of Nagaland are putting pressure on the rebel groups to sign the final agreement with the Government and though the Government is now talking separately with the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs, finally only one agreement would be signed. Sources also said that the Government is trying for “inclusive solution” to the problem by taking all the stakeholders on board and even most of the Indian citizens in the NSCN (K) have returned to the mainstream to join the peace process.