By Amresh Srivastava
New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS): Reiterating its demand for a separate flag and Constitution (Yehzabo), the National Social Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) on Saturday said that they will not be carried away by the "post solution narrative" which they consider a "well-laid trap" by the Central government.
A statement issued by the Naga rebels said that when the formal peace talks resumed with the new Centre's interlocutor A.K. Mishra after a gap of nearly two years, much hype was generated that the final Naga solution was just round the corner and it may come as a Christmas gift to them.
They further said that the pressing concern of the NSCN was again on these core issues, and the talks "failed to live up to all the hype as the Central government continued to indulge in political escapism on the very issues that had been holding up the road to the Naga solution".
They also said that the Central government officially recognised the unique history and situation of the Nagas in 2002, the political interpretation was no less than the recognition of the political identity of the Naga nation.
"Significantly, this put a new meaning to the Indo-Naga political talks that ultimately led to the signing of the historic Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 giving due recognition to the sovereign identity of the Naga nation," they added.
"Ironically, the Government of India is still pretentiously acting stubborn as the crucial rounds of talks that focused on the Naga flag and the Constitution are driven to hang in balance. The stalemate created is unfortunate," the statement read.
Stating that the Naga flag is not just a piece of cloth to the Nagas but a feeling of pride which helped hundreds of Naga martyrs to sacrifice their lives by just seeing the flag flying high in the sky, they also said that it reminds them the courage and sacrifice of their freedom fighters that have brought them where they stand today.
On the issue of the separate flag, the NSCN said it will take the stand to defend it to the last man standing and not succumb to the flattering "post-solution" offer. "The NSCN cannot drag the Naga people to make another blunder by falling into the trap of being machinated by the Government of India," it said.
The rebel group also issued a statement on August 15, pressing their demands for the separate Constitution and flag.
Soon after the transfer of Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who was appointed as the Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace talks on August 29, 2014, to Tamil Nadu, the peace talks resumed on September 20 in Kohima. The Central representative met the Naga leadership and invited them to visit Delhi for further rounds of peace talks.
On invitation of the Centre, the senior leaders of the NSCN-IM including T. Muivah arrived in the national capital on October 6 to hold a further round of the talks with Centre to resolve the matter.
Both, the Centre and the Naga leaders had indicated to be keen on resolving this long pending issue by the end of this year in an amicable manner.
The NSCN-IM and the other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997 and over 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre had been held in the past under successive governments.