Chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) highlighted how the “ground rules” of the ceasefire agreement is creating a “conducive atmosphere” in Naga society
Kohima: Following the NSCN/GPRN (Khango) fresh ceasefire agreement with the Government of India on April 16, all Naga insurgent groups have ensured to create a peaceful society.
In conversation with EastMojo, Lt Gen (Retd) Shokin Chauhan, Chairman, Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) and Ceasefire Supervisory Board (CFSB), said, “For the people of Nagaland, the enforcement of ground rules is a very important task so that the daily lives are not affected.” He then said how the ceasefire agreement brings the Naga political group(s) and the Indian Armed Forces under certain ground rules towards maintaining a peaceful co-existence in the society.
Chauhan clarified that these agreements are “only for the state of Nagaland” although the operations of these political groups are not confined to Nagaland alone. Every year, a meeting is organized to sketch the ceasefire ground rules before it expires in April.
Under the ground rules, the groups cease to carry out ambush, raid, attack, damage to property and civilians, refrain from extending support to other militant groups, extortion, refrain from forcible recruitment of cadre, and refrain from acquiring any additional equipment.
Chauhan said that besides issuing identification cards, designated camps are also allotted to these groups where Armed forces are not allowed within 1 km. He added that currently NSCN-IM has nine camps; NSCN-K has three camps, NSCN-R with two camps; while the NSCN (Khango) is yet to be allotted a designated camp.
While Nagaland was declared a “disturbed area” for six more months since December 30, 2018, Chauhan, who is also the former DG of Assam Riffles, said, “Nagaland is the most peaceful state and questioned “why would anyone say it is a disturbed area?” In this regard, he also made a reference to the peaceful and non-violent election that was recently conducted. He then added “Nagas are very patient people”.
Intriguingly, the groups had been receiving voluntary contributions (donations) from civilians as Chauhan revealed that “no cases of forcible extortion is registered” against any of these groups. Also, in regard to cases where some civilians, acting as cadres of these political groups, go around extorting from people, he said, “I am working with the groups to make sure that the wrong people are weeded out of the system”.