Naga People’s Front president Shürhozelie Liezietsu Credit: File image

Kohima: Nagaland opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Wednesday held its last central executive council (CEC) meeting for the current tenure at the party’s central headquarters in Kohima which was dominated by talks on early solution on the Naga political issue.

NPF president Shürhozelie Liezietsu, in his presidential address, said that the party will “continue to press for an early honourable settlement to the protracted Naga political problem”.

He made no mention of Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) and Inner Line Permit (ILP). However, in regard to the recent political developments in the country and the same apprehension for Article 371(A), he said: “It is not the right time to express any imaginary fear or to assure a situation about the future.”

Leader of opposition TR Zeliang, in his address, said that while all the state political parties shout for early solution of the Naga political issue, the contribution made by the NPF is noteworthy.

Zeliang recalled how the framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 after the legislature forum led by former speaker Chotisuh Sazo went to Delhi on July 17 in 2015 to discuss the matter.

He then said that following a consultative meeting of all stakeholders, the agreement was made. “But today when we are coming close to solution, this kind of check will not bring anything good at this point of time. This RIIN is going to delay the process of Naga political solution…and will create confusion among Nagas,” Zeliang said.

Further, he said that the state government had set up a committee led by Abhishek Singh in 2018 to recommend on ILP, following which the cabinet had decided to implement RIIN.

He said that after the decision was notified through the nodal department, civil societies decried the decision and only after that a consultative meeting was convened by the ruling government on July 17 at Kohima.

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He clarified why the party refrained from the consultative meeting saying it was a “tricky style” of the government to lure the civil societies as it was “not a consultation” but rather an “information”.

Questioning “why the Naga flush-out in Nagaland has started”, Zeliang said RIIN “may be good” if it was introduced five to 10 years ago but not at this time when the Naga solution is close.

In a resolution adopted by the NPF CEC, it welcomed RN Ravi as governor of Nagaland. The NPF hoped that the appointment of Ravi will “strengthen the ongoing Peace Process vis-a-vis political talk as he is the main driving force in signing the historic 3rd August 2015 Framework Agreement” and further urged “government of India and the Naga National Workers to expedite the political talk and bring to a logical conclusion”. It also appealed to all groups to join the peace process.

The party also urged the PDA government to “maintain status quo as propounding a new theory at this juncture would only bring more divisions amongst the Nagas as well as the various indigenous communities settled in the present state of Nagaland and put on hold the present exercise of RIIN till a consensus is drawn from all stakeholders.”

It further emphasised that the “focus must be on implementation of ILP rather than inviting more problems in our society by mis-adventuring on RIIN.”

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