NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah at Camp Hebron in Dimapur, Nagaland Credit: File image

Kohima: Following their reported inclusive talks with the Centre in New Delhi recently, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) — NSCN (IM) – has reiterated their stand on separate flag and constitution and said that Naga flag and Yehzabo (constitution) are the two symbols that have guided the Naga political struggle throughout.

Meanwhile, the government of India representative and interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, RN Ravi, who is also the governor of Nagaland, will hold a consultative meeting with the “primary stakeholders, church leaders and civil societies” at the Conference Hall of Japfu Hotel in Kohima at 2.30 pm on October 18.

Representatives of 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland and United Naga Council (UNC) from Manipur are also likely to attend the meeting.

“It is also an accepted fact that no nations existed without these symbols. These two symbols are inherent parts of the unique history of the Nagas as accepted by government of India. And thus, we are simply saying to acknowledge that India honours Naga’s right to continue using our own flag and constitution,” an NSCN-IM statement said.

The statement came as a rejoinder to an article, written by a prominent Naga writer in local dailies on Saturday, which comes amid reports that the recent talks between the government of India and the group remained inconclusive as differences over flag and constitution hogged limelight.

Earlier in September, Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of the NSCN-IM, said “We have every right of having our own constitution and the national flag. We cannot ask permission from the Indian government as we are the master of ourselves.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also keeping a close eye on the development as Centre’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks RN Ravi apprised him about the development soon after the talks held recently in New Delhi.

Sources in the Union home ministry informed EastMojo that the Centre wants to complete the ongoing talks and reach a logical conclusion by the end of October this year. However, the talks remained inconclusive as differences over flag and constitution hogged limelight in the meeting. Both the sides remained firm on their respective stands on the demand for a separate flag and constitution.

During the talks, the Centre’s representatives categorically informed the NSCN (IM) leadership that they can’t accept demands of separate flag and constitution, besides unification of Naga-inhabited areas.

The meeting was chaired by Ravi, while the NSCN (IM) delegation was led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah. Senior officials of the home ministry, intelligence bureau along with some of the senior cadres of the NSCN (IM) also attended the meeting, among others.

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