Our Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI/DIMAPUR, APRIL 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Diphu in Assam on April 28.
The visit to Karbi Anglong region, which is in very close proximity to Nagaland, is aimed at giving a new momentum to peace and development in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) region.
The fact that it would be so close to Nagaland has triggered speculation in certain quarters that Modi could make use of the opportune time to give a few critical messages to Naga groups and the common people.
“With the blessings of PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, the Karbi Anglong Accord was made possible. We are committed to successfully implementing Karbi Peace Accord, and glad to have made a beginning in this direction”, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told a public gathering at Diphu on April 15.
In fact, the Assam Chief Minister had also distributed cheques of one-time financial assistance to surrendered militants including from Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA), Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT).
Even though the issues of the development-starved Karbi Anglong region and Naga groups are distinctly different, matters pertaining to peace and development are common to both.
Hence in all probability the Prime Minister’s public speech could have some ‘relevance’ in the context of Nagaland.
The Centre’s new peace emissary AK Mishra held crucial rounds of meetings with NNPG and NSCN (IM) during last two days at Chumukedima. He also met some tribal Hoho leaders and reportedly tried to assess the ground situation.
The NNPG leaders have claimed after Thursday’s meeting with Mishra that essentially there is no change on ground situations that both the Centre and the umbrella forum of 7 militant groups are ‘sincere’ to the purposal of early solution and peace.
The NNPG in effect also endorse former Nagaland Governor RN Ravi’s stance that the formal talks concluded on October 31, 2019.
“Mishra has assured us that he would only pursue the process from the point where Ravi had finalised”, one NNPG leader has said.
Even from other quarters it has been suggested that there are no any new agendas on the table.
Yet the fresh deliberations are considered vital as things are happening when the peace process has been put on a faster track.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his deputy Y Patton (of BJP) have indicated that things could take a more concrete shape by August 15 when India completes 75 years of Independence.
Even otherwise the country is celebrating Amrit Mahotsav and the Prime Minister is more often inclined to refer to the milestone.
So for a Government that pledges to uphold the principles of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, it is only relevant that Nagaland, Naga communities and groups operating both within the State of Nagaland and outside are taken on board in India’s onward journey towards greater glories.
A sizable Rengma Naga population resides in Diphu and adjoining areas of Assam.
According to the 2011 Census of India, the population of Rengmas in Nagaland stood at 62,951 and the population of Rengmas in Assam was around 22,000.
The newly upgraded Tseminyü district is the headquarters of Rengmas in Nagaland.
The Rengma Nagas written by JP Mills, Honorary Director of Ethnography Assam in 1936 states: “About a hundred years ago or more a body of the western Rengmas migrated north-west to the Mikir Hills, where they are still living”.