Imphal: The apex body of the Nagas residing in Manipur has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit in the state on Tuesday while seeking his intervention on the prostrated Indo-Naga political talks.
While appreciating the PM’s visit to Manipur and applauding the “dynamic leadership of PM Modi” in taking the nation forward despite the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, the Naga apex body sought his personal attention and intervention to put the peace process back on track and “resolve one of the longest political issues in the Indian sub-continent and the Southeast Asia”.
The Naga apex body feels that there is a grave sense of urgency and apprehension in the manner in which the Indo-Naga political dialogue is being conducted, the apex body said.
The memorandum, jointly submitted by United Nagas Council (UNC), All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Women Union (NWU), also urged the Prime Minister to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 1958 as a pre-condition to the forthcoming Indo-Naga settlement.
The group maintained that “when the historic framework agreement between the Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) at your official residence in New Delhi in 2015, it gave the Nagas hope, and we believed that the Government of India, under your able leadership, was ushering a paradigm shift and historic changes for the final settlement of the Indo-Naga issue”.
“The visionary speech that you delivered during the signing ceremony is still cherished and remains close to the hearts of the Naga people,” said the apex body.
It has been six years since it was signed and now the agreement that promised a new relationship for Nagas and India in protecting the interest of the Nagas and strengthening India as a great nation is in peril of being reduced to a mere document, it added.
“We are concerned that the letter and spirit of historic framework agreement and your vision for a peaceful and honourable political settlement with the Nagas is not visible till today. This naturally gives the impression about the insincerity of the Government of India,” it said.
There are rampant raids, arrests, and seizures of public leaders, businesspersons and members of Naga national organisations by Indian army and state agencies, and many are languishing in Indian jails with unfounded and false charges.
The recent gunning down of 14 Konyak Naga civilians in Oting, Mon District, Nagaland, on December 4 and 5, 2021 by the 21 Para Commandos of Indian Army and Assam Rifles is proof of blatant provocation by the Indian security forces, it maintained.
It further stated that such brutality is not new and “we will not be surprised if worse happens in future too” as long as the AFSPA that allows the Army to commit what it did at the Oting-Tiru road is not removed.
“We strongly feel that it will be more for the glory of India if it upholds its commitment for an honourable solution to the Naga political issue,” it added.
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