Naga Peace Accord
The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM has for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement.It has also accused interlocutor R.N. Ravi of deleting a key word from the original document and sharing the modified version with other Naga groups.
2015 Framework Agreement
- The NSCN-IM, one of the largest Naga groups, signed a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 to end the decades old issue.
- Mr. RN Ravi (now Governor of Nagaland) signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other two signatories were Isak Chishi Swu, who died in 2016 and Thuingaleng Muivah, 86, who is currently leading the talks.
- Accordingly, the Government of India and the NSCN, respecting people’s wishes for sharing the sovereign power as defined in the competencies reached an agreement on the 3rd August, 2015 as an honourable solution.
What’s the issue now?
- The agreement released by the NSCN-IM stated “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.
- However, it is alleged that Mr. Ravi, also Nagaland Governor, “craftily deleted the word new from the original” and circulated to the other Naga groups including the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
What are the demands?
- The NSCN claimed that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution.
- It has demanded that the Centre should come out with an undertaking that the framework agreement is still alive in its original form and “to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi” who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.
- The Naga Hills became part of British India in 1881. The effort to bring scattered Naga tribes together resulted in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
- The club metamorphosed into the Naga National Council (NNC) in 1946. Under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, the NNC declared Nagaland as an independent State on August 14, 1947, and conducted a “referendum” in May 1951 to claim that 99.9% of the Nagas supported a “sovereign Nagaland”.
- On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army.
- The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
- The insurrection petered out by the mid-1970s but returned with more intensity in the form of the NSCN led by Mr. Muivah and S.S. Khaplang.