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Nagaland celebrated Independence before rest of India: NSCN(IM) on demand for separate constitution

Amid the meetings between the Centre and parties representation Nagaland including the NSCN(IM) and Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), one of the key issues that have stalled the process so far has been the demand for a separate constitution and flag by the NSCN (IM). So far, the government has rejected the demand for a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland. Also, recent instances including the scrapping of article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir provide contrary support to the demand for a separate constitution as felt by political observers.

Speaking to Inside Northeast Kihoyi Swu of NSCN (IM) who is also the ceasefire convenor said, “the demands have not been mentioned in framework agreement but along with the agreement the govt of India also recognises Naga history. It is only considering the Naga history the peace accord was signed. The constitution and the separate flag constitutes Nagaland’s separate history and as such, the Government should accept them”.

He rejected the comparison of Kashmir and Nagaland describing that both Nagaland and Kashmir issue is different. “Kashmir became a part of India because the King got insecure and signed the instrument of accession with the Indian union. But Nagas never signed the accession as we celebrated Independence Day, one day prior to the Nation’s Independence day celebration. Our consent was not taken”.

Regarding the alternative to the Consitution, as Nagaland comes under Article 371 A which contains a special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland, the NSCN leader believes that 371 is in conflict with the other provisions of the constitution which makes it “a failed constitutional provision. Thus, a separate constitution will be better for the peace of Nagaland and the Centre relations”, said Swu.

Also read: Nagaland: Peace talks with Centre won’t end in September if demands are not met, says NSCN

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office has set a September deadline for the final settlement of all Naga political issues. However, the date and place of signing of the historic peace accord have not been finalised.

The Centre has decided to conclude the decades-old peace talks with the NSCN (IM) and NNPGs (Naga National Political Groups) in Nagaland by September this year. For this, a round of marathon meetings held between the collective leadership of the NSCN (I-M) and the Prime Minister’s special envoy for Naga talks R.N. Ravi, who is also the governor of Nagaland.

With regards to the reports of a September deadline, Inside Northeast spoke to NSCN regarding the situation. “It depends on the progress of the talk. If the centre wants to find a solution then both sides have to stick to the framework agreement in 2015 and what’s agreed upon. It should be adhered to and if we change again it will take more time as the framework has to be agreed by both representatives of Nagaland and the Centre”.

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