Naga organisations petition Prime Minister to intervene

NNN | Senapati, JULY 24: Naga organisations in the State of Manipur have petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to intervene and put the Naga peace process on the “right track”. They also expressed serious concerns on the recent happenings including the killings of 6 NSCN-IM cadres in Arunachal Pradesh by the security forces.

United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women Union (NWU), Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights-South (NPMHR-S) and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), in their joint memorandum to the Prime Minister of India, said that Government of India’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks, RN Ravi, had the best opportunity of winning the hearts and minds of the Naga people after the Framework Agreement was signed but that did not happen. “After the Framework Agreement was signed, the Interlocutor Mr. R.N. Ravi had the best opportunity of winning the hearts and minds of Naga people. Nagas believed him and appreciated his accessibility and pragmatic approach. But the present trend of talk seems to be going out of track,” the memorandum also said..

The four Naga organisations then said that they were petitioning even at this time of “unprecedented crisis” due to COVID-19, and they expressed their immense appreciation to the Prime Minister for his “dynamic leadership in handling the COVID-19 pandemic”. However, “with a grave sense of urgency and apprehension on the manner in which the Indo-Naga political dialogue is being conducted, we request your personal intervention to put the peace process on the right track in resolving one of the longest political issues in the Indian sub-continent,” the joint memorandum added.

The four Naga organisations then pointed out in their joint memorandum that the “3rd of August 2020 will be the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Historic Framework Agreement between the Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) at your official residence in New Delhi”. The memorandum also said that when the Framework Agreement was signed in 2015 it gave the Nagas a high hope and we believed that the Government of India under “your able leadership” was ushering in a new paradigm shift and historic changes towards a logical roadmap for the final settlement of the Indo-Naga issue. “The visionary speech that your goodself delivered during the signing ceremony is still cherished and remains close to the hearts of the Naga people,” the memorandum added.

It then said that 5 years have gone and the Framework Agreement is in peril of being reduced to a mere document. “We feel the letter and spirit of the Framework Agreement and your vision for a peaceful and honourable political settlement with the Nagas are not visible in the Government of India’s representative at the negotiation table. This impression has led the Nagas to doubt the sincerity of the Government of India,” it also said.

The memorandum then said that, recently, MR.N. Ravi’s letter to the Chief Minister of Nagaland dated June 16, 2020 had termed the “aged-old Naga National Organisations” as “armed gangs” with whom he has been dialoguing on behalf of the Government of India. “Mr. Ravi has ostentatiously begun to bulldoze the Indo-Naga political issue as a mere law and order problem. The trust and confidence built up over the course of the dialogue process has now been decimated,” the memorandum added.

“Over and above,” said the memorandum, “there have been rampant raids, the arrest and seizures by Indian army and remand to NIA custody of public leaders, businessmen and members of Naga National Organisations”. The memorandum further mentioned that the “recent gunning down of 6 NSCN cadres mercilessly in Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh on July 11, 2020 is again a clear proof of blatant provocation by the Indian security forces”. The memorandum of the Naga organisations to the Prime Minister then said, “This is despite the fact that there are clearly laid out ground rules and the cease-fire monitoring mechanism in place to address cases of cease-fire violations”.

It then said that, “in view of the above prevailing situation, we fervently request your personal intervention in bringing the Indo-Naga political talk to its logical conclusion at the earliest based on the unique history and situation of the Nagas, and more immediately to prevent further escalation of unwanted situation”.

The four Naga organisations then said that place their hope in “your courage and decisive action and it will surely be under your able stewardship that Nagas and India will end the era of conflict and march on together to a new future of hope and possibilities”.

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