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Naga Talks: New Delhi tables fresh proposal before NSCN (IM)

Rio TR with NSCN IM
Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and Leader of Opposition, T R Zeliang with NSCN (IM) leaders

Kohima, March 19: The Naga peace process has reached a crucial phase as the Central Government has placed a fresh proposal before the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) to sign the pact.

According to a source, the Government of India has placed the proposal to the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) recently to hammer out a solution. However, the Naga group is reportedly reluctant to accept the proposal, which was short of Constitution and a flag for Nagalim (Nagaland).
Initially NSCN (IM)’s demand was sovereignty to integration of contiguous Naga areas; and now shared sovereignty with a separate constitution and flag.
Last year the NSCN (IM) had submitted a fresh proposal to the Centre, which has been reportedly returned to the former, a couple of days back along with New Delhi’s fresh proposal.
After bad blood developed between the interlocutor and Governor, R N Ravi and the NSCN (IM), the Union Government entrusted officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to carry forward the talks.
Chief Minister, Rio and Assam Health Minister, Himanta Biswas Sarma have also been given the task to persuade the NSCN (IM) leadership to climb down from their stand and sign the agreement.
But going by all indications, and Ravi’s repeated reinforcement of 16 Point Agreement of 1960 vis-à-vis Nagaland State, at this point of time the Centre was unlikely to offer solution above, and beyond Nagaland State.
All competencies have been finalized, except for the constitution and flag, which the Centre was willing to compromise.
But a senior NSCN (IM) functionary said Naga issue is not a development issue, but a political problem.
In an effort to break the ice, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, T R Zeliang called on Union Home Minister, Amit Shah on Thursday in New Delhi. So far details of the meeting could not be obtained but Naga People’s Front (NPF) insider said the Union
Home Minister reportedly told Rio and Zeliang that the Government of India was aware of the contentious issues, and asserted that effort should be made to further the talks so that agreement could be inked.
Rio and Zeliang also met NSCN Chairman, Q Tuccu and General Secretary, Thiungaleng Muivah. Several key members of NSCN were also present during the meeting to push forward the already stalled Naga talks.

Pressure is mounting on Chief Negotiator Muivah to sign the deal, but political pundits fear that it could be back to square one, if the agreement is not honourable and acceptable, as a group of NSCN (IM), who are still outside the country, are waiting to strike.
Political parties and politicians in Nagaland have also been insisting on “honourable and acceptable” solution; an ambiguous political language not easy for the common people to understand. (Page News Service)