WC NNPGs, Ravi hold meeting

WC NNPGs, Ravi hold meeting
Members of the WC NNPGs with RN Ravi. (WC/NNPGs)
DIMAPUR, FEB 22 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/22/2021 1:11:31 PM IST

 Says, elements trying to sabotage signing of agreement

Working Committee (WC), NNPGs led by its convener N Kitovi Zhimomi met Government of India (GoI) Interlocutor for Naga talks and Nagaland governor RN Ravi at police complex Chumukedima here on February 20 during which both sides agreed that there were Naga elements at work to prolong and sabotage the signing of Indo-Naga agreement.

In a statement, the committee said over the last few months, various groups and organisations have spammed media outlets with propaganda and fake news in an effort to stay relevant and confuse and mislead Naga tribes and civil societies. 

Alleging that there were elements fooling fellow Nagas in Manipur that WC, NNPGs was pursuing solution for Nagas of Nagaland, the statement asserted that only those who ran away from inclusive solution could think and propagate exclusivity. It said the reasoning of 14 tribes of Nagaland, NTC, NGBF, ENPO, CNTC and minority communities and rest of the Naga populace, including Nagas in other States and Myanmar, was not for anyone to question. 

Reiterating that Nagas were prepared for inclusive, acceptable and honourable political solution, the statement claimed that the seven Naga National political groups under the banner of WC, NNPGs was a messenger between GoI and Naga people. And as the negotiations have concluded with active participation and co-operation of Naga tribes and customary guardians, the statement emphasised that this was not the hour to waste on abject propaganda.

Referring to the claim of Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane during an interview carried by national news channels and print media on December 26, 2020 that NSCN (K) leader ‘gen.’ Niki Sumi and his followers, including Starson Lamkang and 52 others, had surrendered, WC, NNPGs observed that it was now three months but there has been no response from Niki either denying or accepting the claim.

Prior to this, WC, NNPGs said its convener had sent an official letter to Niki in November 2020 to partner it in the peace process, but the invitation was politely declined. Mentioning that much water has flowed down the river since, the committee demanded that Naga people deserved to know the truth with regard to the status of Niki Sumi and his group.

The committee further claimed that GoI had made it crystal clear that political negotiations with all Naga groups had concluded on October 31, 2019 and there would be no more talks. 

As the statement of Indian Army chief could not be a concoction, WC, NNPGs said Ravi confirmed during the meeting on February 20 the official position of GoI that Niki Sumi had surrendered with about 120 workers. It said that a clarification from the Centre through the interlocutor on this matter was important.

And if they had indeed surrendered as declared by Indian Army chief on December 26, and which continues to be the official stand of GoI, urged the surrendered officers and men to honourably leave the political matters to Naga national leaders and workers who were sacrificing much to bring home honourable and acceptable solution through political negotiations. 

WC, NNPGs also fervently appealed to Niki and his men to refrain from encouraging and recruiting innocent people to join his band, stressing that Nagas required clear understanding of the situation at hand, as vulnerable and selfish members might create social problem resulting in additional burden on the people.

Asserting that it was a crucial time not only for the Nagas with regard to the political aspiration, WC said it was also a testing time for the Government of India as well. Maintaining that the political, economic and social turmoil in recent times had slowed down the progress on all spheres, WC said that Nagas’ question too has lost precious time. Nevertheless, WC was optimistic that the settlement bound Naga tribes and civil societies must stay focussed on the objective and not be swayed by narrative of habitual propagandists on Naga issue. 

It reminded that the Centre with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs, was formulating the Indo-Naga political solution based on a relationship that is honourable and enduring peaceful co-existence. 

It said that the November 17, 2017 ‘Agreed Position’ signed between the Centre and WC, NNPGs and subsequent negotiated status paper was there for all tribal leaders, village headmen, former and present legislators, politicians, social activists, academicians and general public to study. 

“There is no ambiguity. Post-settlement, there is sufficient historical and political space and scope to reflect Naga characteristics in Naga areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam through political and administrative measures even as integration of Nagas remains a democratic aspiration,” it added.

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