Kohima: In a new development to the ongoing Naga political talks, the Union ministry of home affairs has extended the ceasefire agreement with three NSCN groups for a period of six months.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the groups namely NSCN (R), NSCN (K-Khango) and NSCN (NK) signed the ceasefire extension agreement at the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG)/ Ceasefire Supervisory Board (CFSB) office in Kohima on Thursday with Lt Gen (Retd) Shokin Chauhan, chairman CFMG/CFSB, as the representative of the government of India (GoI).
Copies of the ceasefire agreements which are in possession with EastMojo said that both NSCN groups and the GoI have “mutually agreed to extend the ceasefire agreement” for a period of six months. In view of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the agreement which is annually inked at New Delhi on April 15 was signed between the GoI representative and the rebel groups in Kohima on Thursday.”
The agreements said, “Ceasefire will be subject to adherence to the ceasefire ground rules mutually agreed and signed between the two parties” and that the ceasefire ground rules will be subject to mutual review and amendment with the involvement of both the parties”.
While Jack Zhimomi and Hotoi Awomi were the signatories of the NSCN (NK), Dr Amento Chishi and Toshi Longkumer signed the agreement on behalf of the NSCN (R). The ceasefire agreement with these two NSCN groups, which is due to expire on April 27, was extended for a period of six months till October 27. The agreement was made to “bring lasting peace in the state of Nagaland with the involvement of the Naga people”.
As for the NSCN (K-Khango), which entered into a fresh agreement with the Centre in April last year, the extension was made for a period of six months till October 17. The group was represented by Shellen Konyak and Kaino Chishi.
An update from the NSCN (R) MIP Amento V Chphi said that considering the cordial atmosphere maintained between NSCN (R) and GoI and to honour the Naga People’s yearning for Peaceful Co-Existence, the ceasefire was extended.
“We cannot ignore the People’s cry for peace, and if we don’t listen to the People’s Voice, how can we claim that we are representing them,” it added.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Chauhan confirmed that the ceasefire extension agreement was made with all the three groups for a period of six months. He said that due to the “unprecedented situation” of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the agreement which is annually signed at New Delhi in April, was signed between the parties here in Kohima.
Chauhan added that the agreement was signed with all groups separately and that the protocol of social distancing was maintained during the process.
In April last year, the Union home ministry extended the ceasefire agreement with GPRN/NSCN and the NSCN (Reformation) for a period of one year while a fresh pact was signed with NSCN/GPRN (K) headed by Khango Konyak for a year, for suspension of operations.