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NSCN wants Centre, Assam to protect 'Naga interests'

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) has asked the Centre and the Assam government to protect 'Naga interests' when it creates the Karbi-Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC) in Assam's Karbi Anglong district.

Updated Jun 08, 2021 07:51 AM

NSCN wants Centre, Assam to protect 'Naga interests'

"The government of India and state government of Assam are finalising a proposal to create

the KAATC in Karbi Anglong through an agreement. This is to appease the six rebel outfits -- Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCKL), United People's Liberation Army (UPLA) and three factions of Karbi People's Liberation Tiger (KPLT)," an NSCN statement said on Tuesday.

The statement pitched for protecting the interests of the Rengma Nagas, the original inhabitants of the Karbi Anglong area.

"No authority should go far enough to override the interests of the Rengma Nagas who are the legitimate owner of the land under the questionable proposition.

"No wonder, taking cognizance of this historical status, the Rengma issue in Assam constitutes

one of the important agendas of Indo-Naga political talks pending final decision," the statement added

The NSCN statement said that land alienation was a major point of conflict in the Northeast, particularly Assam and Nagaland.

"There can be little doubt that this is the creation of history under the colonial rule. The issue in focus is Karbi Anglong, erstwhile known as Rengma Hills. Rengma Nagas are made the victims of aggressive influx of outsiders for vested interests. Nonetheless, their historical status as the true sons of the soil cannot be questioned."

It added that the Naga political movement is all about land and people because land represents economic, political and social power and identity of the people.

"Given the sensitive situation in the light of the proposed KAATC, NSCN put on record that it

would not accept alienation of Nagas' ancestral land which is tantamount to undermining the

spirit of the Indo-Naga political talks. The Rengmas are not lost people or immigrants like

others in Karbi Anglong. The NSCN, therefore, would not allow the Rengma Nagas to be driven to

the edge without considering their historical factual status.

"Any agreement that victimise the Rengma Nagas would not be acceptable to the Nagas in general and to the NSCN in particular," the statement added.

The NSCN has been on the table with the Central government since it signed a ceasefire agreement in 1997.

But the two sides are yet to arrive at a final settlement of the six-decade old Naga imbroglio, though the Modi government signed a "Framework Agreement' with the NSCN in August 2015.

The NSCN says that the 'Framework Agreement' agreed to find a final solution on the basis of the concept of 'shared sovereignty', adding that the Centre seems to be now having second thoughts about it .

Its demand for a separate flag and a separate constitution for Nagaland has been turned down by Modi government and the NSCN has refused to sign a final agreement unless that is done.

With smaller rebel factions, originating from the NSCN also on the table and apparently willing to sign up without a separate flag or constitution, the Naga rebel group, easily the strongest in the Northeast with close to 8000 fighters under its command, has blamed Delhi for 'backtracking on its commitments' and 'playing divide and rule'.

Much of the NSCN's ire is targeted at Delhi's Naga interlocutor and Nagaland governor R.N. Ravi, a former Intelligence Bureau officer.

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