Naga Hoho urges Prime Minister to “look into” various issues

NNN | DIMAPUR, JULY 29: The Naga Hoho has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to “look into” various points mentioned in the memorandum as “priority”.

The first point stated that there have been five years since the “Framework Agreement was signed between the Government of India and the NSCN/GPRN but no tangible solution is emerging nor is there any progress in the political talk”. The memorandum also said, “We feel that the Framework Agreement has been interpreted to suit the interest of the Government of India. The Nagas desire the earliest clarification on the progress and position of this Framework Agreement from the Government of India”.

The second point mentioned in the Naga Hoho memorandum said that while the Naga people, both young and old, have been expecting with great hope for a peaceful settlement, the Government of India had announced and declared that formal talks on Indo-Naga political issue had concluded on October 31, 2019. “This is not only surprising but also disturbing and more so with many unwarranted turn of events. Sir, you are well aware that the entire Nagaland is being declared as ‘Disturbed Area’ under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act every six months despite a ceasefire with the Naga political groups,” the Naga Hoho memorandum to the Prime Minister also said. It further alleged that “the Indian Army” continues to operate against peace and the people and there is a rise in violence, confrontations and killings like the pre-ceasefire period. “The recent case of July 11, 2020 where 6 boys were mercilessly gunned down in their sleep by the 6 Assam Rifles near Nginu village of Longding district, Arunachal Pradesh blots the effort to peace and settlement,” the Naga Hoho memorandum added.

Thirdly, the Naga Hoho expressed that all principles and framework agreed upon must be respected and not be changed unitarily. It further said that the 2001 Bangkok Agreement clearly stated that Ceasefire shall be without territorial limit “but the ceasefire covers only to the state of Nagaland”. The memorandum further said, “The agreement was signed during the Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee and is contradictory to the ceasefire currently in place”. It then demanded that the Government must clarify the position of the Bangkok Agreement.

The Naga Hoho memorandum then said that the Government of India and the Nagas have signed several agreements in the past. “However, these agreements did not yield in bringing honourable, acceptable and desired solution so far. The Nagas feel it is due to lack of honest political will and sincerity from the successive Governments of India,” the Naga Hoho also said.

The memorandum of the Naga Hoho then said, “The Nagas observe that the Governor of Nagaland who is also the Interlocutor to the Indo-Naga peace talk is functioning in an autocratic manner without any regard and respect for what has been achieved so far”. The memorandum added, “It is worthwhile to remember that the Indo-Naga political issue has taken a huge toll on generations of both sides (India and Naga)”. According to the Naga Hoho, with the appointment of R.N Ravi as the Governor, it was hoped to expedite the peace process. “Instead, he is breaking the hard-earned trust and faith of the people and rendering the 23 years of negotiation meaningless by smearing the Naga history and also the political groups with whom the Government of India is engaged in a negotiation”, the Naga Hoho further said. It further said that the government employees are also “mandatorily made to self declare their relationships with members of the Naga political groups”. The Naga Hoho said it is concerned that this will lead to profiling the employees and also criminalizing the organizations and the members of these organizations.

“We feel that peaceful settlement cannot be achieved with an interlocutor without empathy and without understanding our people, our history and our aspiration,” the Naga Hoho memorandum stated. “We remember Mahatma Gandhi who gave respect and honour to our political rights and we need a similar leader to translate the Indo-Naga negotiation into an honorable solution that will safeguard and protect the interest of one another,” it added.

The Naga Hoho memorandum to the Prime Minister then stated that it “continues to trust in your leadership and we urge you to look into the matters placed before you as a priority”. It added, “With your personal and political commitment, we believe that the solution is not far away”.

The Naga Hoho memorandum also said, “The Naga Hoho representing the Naga people and aspirations irrespective of territorial boundaries extend our good wishes at a time such as this when a pandemic has hit normal life and economy”.

According to the memorandum, the Nagas remember and treasure “your words and assurance of the 3rd August 2015 on the historic signing of the Framework Agreement when you said, ‘I have deepest admiration for the great Naga people for their extraordinary support to the peace efforts’”.

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