More peace, talks on the cards

More peace, talks on the cards

Dimapur, March 1: As New Delhi nears a settlement of the Naga political problem, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland that was led by late SS Khaplang, may well be in negotiations with the Government of India soon.
The most significant evidence of that so far, is its non-involvement in the recently concluded election process that included polling on Tuesday. Politicians and people across the state from Dimapur to Kohima and Mokokchung to Mon said on the run-up to the elections that the national workers kept away from elections.
NSCN led by Thuingaleng Muivah had made it clear through directions to the cadres that no one was to get involved. The cadres followed the orders. However, there was surprise at the ground of the restraint exercised by the group with based in Myanmar.
“There are some talks going on but we cannot give any detail,” says a source close to the group. It is not known who took the initiative, but it was evident on the ground that even in its strongholds on the Nagaland-Myanmar border, the NSCN’s cadres did not involve either in elections or in any attacks on Indian security forces.
The group had abrogated the ceasefire with the government of India in 2015 with multiple attacks on Indian forces in Manipur. Later, New Delhi proscribed the organisation putting it on its list of banned organisations at number 39.
At Tizit, as police and paramilitary force trucks winded up their way on the potholed roads to Mon, the NSCN cadres kept their peace. These were indeed places where there was enough scope for the armed cadres to engage themselves.
“This could be a hint for negotiation,” said an army officer who belongs to a unit once led by General KS Thimayya. Thimayya is known for his reported assertion back in 1956 that the Naga problem needs political wisdom and not a military solution. Perhaps, it is a pleasant irony that the unit is posted in Nagaland at a time of peace overtures.
Muivah’s NSCN as well as the NSCN led by Kitovi Zhimomi and the NNC groups have also hardly involved themselves during the elections. Besides proxy voting and political party supporters clashing, the Nagaland elections could apparently be said to be free and fair.
“This is unlike 2003 when the factions involved themselves,” said an NDPP leader. “There are absolutely no reports of their involvement,” he said.
In 1998 the armed group gave a call to boycott elections and in 2003, there was a resolve to remove the Congress government. Even later, at a personal level many cadres supported their relatives during elections.
Election 2018 was radically different. Apparently, the solution to the problem is on the horizon and a disciplined march has begun towards it.
(Page News Service)