Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls, Naga Insurgent Group NSCN(IM) Reiterates Demands of Separate Flag, Constitution

Guwahati: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Naga insurgent group NSCN(IM) has once again put forward its demands on sovereign rights.

Speaking to News18 over phone from Camp Hebron, V. Horam, member of the steering committee of NSCN(IM), said, “They (government) can’t flee from the Framework Agreement, where the issues of shared sovereignty are clearly mentioned. We will start negotiation from the Framework Agreement and its development with the next government. It’s not our issue to think on about the Lok Sabha polls. It’s their election, not ours.”

“Till now, no final decision has come out on the issues of a separate flag and separate constitution. But we are clear about our rights. If you see the key points of the Framework Agreement, you can’t deny our demands on separate flag and constitution,” Horam added. Meanwhile, the senior leader of the insurgent said, ‘Right now, we are busy with our people. A number of meetings are going on in Camp Hebron with the Naga civil societies, tribal hohos and other Naga intellectuals. All of our top leadership, including the chairman, vice-chairman and general secretary are busy with various schedules. After the formation of the next government, we will start the negotiation again.’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on August 3, 2015 announced the signing of the historic framework agreement which would lead towards the Naga Accord. Four years later, the agreement remains shrouded in mystery and the Naga groups are growing restless.

The NSCN-IM has not fought the Indian forces since 1997. However, the ceasefire has not meant peace. The NSCN(IM) cadre allegedly continued to train, patrol, procure arms, recruit men and remained involved in violent turf battles with Khaplang and other breakaway Naga rebel factions.

The government of India has already suggested that Naga communities from across the country adopt a flag as a symbol of its unity. On his tour to Nagaland in February, RN Ravi, the deputy national security advisor (NSA), who is representing the Centre in peace talks with the Naga communities, had informed Naga civil societies about the government’s decision.

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