Kohima, Apr 14: Accusing the Central Government of delaying the final settlement of the decades-old Naga insurgency issue, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) warned that “the China option” was open for them.
In an interview with “The Week” magazine, Chief of the Naga Army Phunting Shimrang blamed the Central Government for trying to ‘humiliate’ the Naga people by delaying the settlement.
“It is only after we went to China, that India woke up. Will India wake up only if the Naga army starts doing that again?” Shimrang was quoted as saying by the magazine. He refused to subscribe to the notion that Naga problem was India’s ‘internal issue’.
‘The Week’ said the interview was taken at NSCN-IM headquarters in Hebron in Nagaland.
In another interview, ‘home minister’ of the self-styled parallel NSCN-IM government R H Raising shed light on the framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the government’s interlocutor R N Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The pact talks about the existence of two entities without us foregoing our rights. It recognises the identity, history and territory of the Nagas,” the magazine quoted him as saying.
Raising also said “India and the Nagas have agreed to co-exist” and an early settlement is beneficial for India.
“But if India wants to put Nagas under its constitution, the Naga struggle will continue,” he said.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland. (With inputs from Agencies)