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Naga peace process

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

 

Naga peace process

Context:

Naga rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN(IM) has stuck to its demands for a separate flag and a constitution in an indication that the deadlock in the peace talks with the central government, aimed at bringing an end to India’s oldest insurgency, is likely to continue.

 

Background:

The process has been ongoing since mid-1997 when the NSCN (I-M) declared a ceasefire with the armed forces. Other groups began opting for talks in 2001. However, it has been put in a cold storage” since the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015.

 

How old is the Naga political issue?

  1. Pre- independence:
  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
  • In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.
  • The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.

 

  1. Post- independence:

On March 22, 1952, the Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) were formed. The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

 

Agreement in this regard:

  • The NSCN (IM) entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997 and the two have been holding talks since then, while a conglomerate of seven different Naga national political groups (NNPGs) also got into separate talks with the Centre since 2017.
  • The Centre signed a “framework agreement” with NSCN (IM) in 2015, and an “agreed position” with the NNPGs in 2017. However, the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution has been a delaying factor in signing a final deal on the protracted Naga political issue.

 

The 2015 ‘agreement’:

After years of negotiations with successive governments, the NSCN(IM) had on August 3, 2015 signed a framework agreement with the BJP-led Centre.b

The “agreement” was based on the idea of “shared sovereignty” for the Nagas, a community comprising more than 60 tribes (the exact number is unclear) spread across the Northeast and parts of neighbouring Myanmar.

  • Shared sovereignty denotes sharing of administrative and legislative power between India and ‘Nagalim’.

Under this arrangement, the Naga Hoho, the apex body of all Naga tribes, would look after the welfare of all Naga-inhabited areas, irrespective of their integration with the proposed ‘Nagalim’.

greater_nagalim

 

Insta Curious:

The key demand of Naga groups has been Greater Nagalim. What parts of the state are covered in it? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Parts of States included Greater Nagalim.
  2. About Naga Club and NNC.
  3. When was the Naga Referendum held?

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues and challenges associated with the Naga Peace Accord.

 

Sources: the Hindu.