NSCN-IM members at the check gate of Camp Hebron in Dimapur, Nagaland Credit: File image 

Kohima: The NSCN-IM, on Sunday alarmed the Centre about the need to “save the political dialogue instead of creating distrust at this stage and demolishing the political negotiation”. Expressing its disappointment over Government of India’s (GoI) intelligence agencies, particularly the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the group said that activities conducted by it only created “trust deficit in the minds of the Nagas and the NSCN”.

An official statement issued by the group’s MIP said that after decades of suppressing the Nagas under the Centre’s “internal law and order issue”, the GoI later on acknowledged that the Indo-Naga issue was “political”. “It was only after the change seen in India’s policy that the NSCN agreed to have political dialogue with the GoI in 1997,” it said.

It pointed out that after travailing the political dialogue for over two decades, some positive steps were taken with the official recognition of the “unique history and situation” of the Nagas in 2002 followed by the signing of the Framework Agreement (FA) on 3rd August, 2015. The group said that the FA recognized the need of “ending violent confrontation and recognized the sovereign right of the Naga people and peaceful co-existence of the two entities through the sharing of the sovereign power”.

Despite decades of ceasefire and political dialogue, NSCN-IM said that it witnessed innumerable violation of Ceasefire Ground Rules by the GoI (violations which are well documented), security forces and intelligence agencies particularly the NIA, in the name of checking terrorism and protecting India’s national security. “The NIA has been acting with impunity and intensified its activities particularly after the ultimatum served by the GoI interlocutor in July, 2019 and the deliberate rejection of the FA principle wherein the sovereign rights of the Naga people to use its national flag and constitution has been officially acknowledged”.

It alleged the NIA of taking “recourse to India’s Law and Order against the NSCN who is having political dialogue with the GoI.”

Citing the recent raid in connection with the alleged terror funding by NIA, it said that while the NIA is “protecting criminals”, it is “implicating members of the NSCN within India’s law and Order Acts and Regulations”. The group expresses “total shock and surprise” over the accusation as it has been in political dialogue for more than two decades.

“It is relevant to refresh the memory of the GoI concerning the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on November 18, 2002, Milan, Italy (available verbatim on record) between the GoI and the NSCN. The MoU officially agreed to lift the ban on NSCN under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and it was also understood that as the dialogue with the NSCN progresses further and environment becomes more peaceful, other rules, regulations and

Also Read: Naga history being scorned, maligned by vested interests: Ex-CM

Acts will be reviewed in due course of time” the statement reads.

The statement goes on to say that the MoU agreed that the NSCN leadership, on the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, will come to Delhi in December, 2002 to carry forward the peace dialogue in a spirit of mutual trust and understanding and ensure the safety, security and well-being of the NSCN leaders during their visit to Delhi, India.

Saying that the activities of the GoI’s intelligence agencies, particularly the NIA, has created “trust deficit”, it added “We doubt the sincerity of the GoI in concluding an acceptable and honorable political solution considering its “carrot and stick” policy”.

It warned that only when the GoI starts respecting the “commitment”, the political dialogue can move forward in the spirit of “mutual trust and understanding”. It concluded saying: The unrestrained excessive activities of NIA will certainly reverse the clock back towards the pre-ceasefire period which witnessed intensive militarization, violent conflict and serious violation of human rights. The situation will certainly go out of control if the GoI does not take corrective measures in the true spirit of the ongoing political dialogue between and GoI and the NSCN”.

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