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NSCN-IM alleges new central interlocutor unable to resolve Naga demands for a separate flag

KOHIMA:The NSCN (IM) said on Saturday that negotiations with the new central interlocutor “failed to live up to the hype” created, adding that the Naga demands separate flag and Yehzabo had not been fulfilled (constitution or chapter in the constitution).

The rebel group’s worded statement comes less than a month after A K Mishra, a veteran IPS officer who specialized in northeast affairs in the Intelligence Bureau, was chosen as the government’s negotiator, replacing then Nagaland Governor R N Ravi.

The government, according to the NSCN-IM, is engaged in “political escapism on the very issues that are delaying the Naga solution.”

The Indian government has so far refused to acknowledge Naga demands for separate constitution, chapter in the Indian constitution dedicated to Nagaland, and separate flag. 
Observers ascribe this to the fact that it had abrogated Article 370, which granted Jammu and Kashmir separate status, and it was unwilling to give in to similar demands from other states or groups. 
The negotiators said that Nagaland’s demand for flag may be accommodated as cultural symbol.

The NSCN-IM, on the other hand, made it clear that “the Naga issue is not a cultural issue,” and that using the flag as a “culture symbol” rather than a “political identity as symbolized by the Naga flag” was unacceptable.

The statement further questioned, “If the Naga issue is a cultural issue where is the need for a ceasefire? and where is the need to drag on the talks for over two decades if the issue is to resolve cultural conflicts?”

It  stated that the Naga political talks “ultimately led to the signing of the historic Framework Agreement on the August 3, 2015,” which granted “appropriate acknowledgment to the Naga nation’s sovereign identity.”

As the important rounds of talks on the Naga flag and the constitution hang in the balance, theythe Government of India is still acting pretentiously stubborn, The rebel group added.

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