In a joint council meeting of the NSCN-IM held at its Hebron camp in Dimapur on Friday, it was unanimously decided that the IM’s standing demand of a separate flag and constitution need to be a part of the final settlement in the ongoing Naga peace talks with the Centre.
In a statement, the NSCN-IM said, “The house unanimously adopted the resolution to reiterate the stand of NSCN that the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (constitution) must form a part of the Indo-Naga political solution in order to qualify the Naga deal as honourable and acceptable. Besides, the house also resolved that the Government of India and NSCN must seek a final agreement based on the historic Framework Agreement of 3rd August, 2015.”
The talks last year reached a stalemate when the IM came up with its demand for a separate flag and constitution. While the talks, conducted by Nagaland Governor and the Centre’s interlocutor R N Ravi, ended on October 31, relations between the interlocutor and the insurgent group deteriorated since and came to a head in June this year with Ravi writing to the state government about “parallel governments” being run by underground groups and accusing them of extortion.
Informal talks resumed last month, with senior leaders of the IM reaching Delhi to talk to senior IB officials. Even as NSCN-IM has claimed that the talks were running smoothly, back in Nagaland demands for a quick resolution have been growing from civil society organisations and tribal heads. All these bodies have since made it clear that a final agreement without a separate flag and constitution on the agenda is acceptable to the public, a stand that has been reinforced by seven insurgent groups indigenous to Nagaland who have been talking to the Centre under the banner of NNPG.
Amid mounting pressure from the Indian government, the NNPG and its own civil society, the IM has dug in its heels and said that an “honourable solution” is not acceptable unless its demands are met.