New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The Naga imbroglio that has been festering for over five decades and has claimed countless lives of civilians and security personnel can be solved within two years if the Indian government has the will to do so, a leader of one of the factions of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) that supports the recently signed Naga Peace Accord has said.
“We have been fighting for Naga sovereignty for decades demanding the carving of a Naga country from both Myanmar and India. But, we have found that it’s practically impossible. So the Nagas from the Indian side should seek a solution from India and Nagas in Myanmar should seek solution from Myanmar,” NSCN (Reformation) president Y. Wangtin Naga, told IANS in an interview.
If the talks failed, they were ready to struggle for another couple of decades, he added.
Wangtin, was in the capital with his NSCN (Reformation) delegation to meet Naga Peace Interlocutor R.N. Ravi. The group was the first among other NSCN factions to have come forward to support the Naga Peace Accord signed between the NSCN (I-M), which as of now is considered to be only a framework. However, it has have urged for more transparency and talks for suggestions from allstake-holders.
One of the major points of the discussions between Ravi and the delegation was the role to be played by the NSCN (Reformation) in the peace talks.
Speaking on the issue, NSCN (Reformation) general secretary P. Tikhak told IANS: “We have worked for the Naga people. They have suffered a lot. It is appreciable that the government of India has understood that they are Indians and we are Nagas and at the same Nagas are not Indians (they have distinct identities). These two things should not dilute.”
“We need to allow the Naga people to live on their own and progress, develop on their own. As far as the Indians and Nagas are concerned, they can always live together and help each other with their own sovereignty,” Tikhak said.
“As far as the Naga Peace Accord serves the cause of the Naga people, we have no objection. But the results of the accord should be in favour of the Nagas completely,” Tikhak added.
Wangtin, who was formerly a senior leader with NSCN (Khaplang), has said that the only reason S.S. Khaplang had abrogated a 14-year-old ceasefire with the Indian government earlier this year was because he was being constantly mislead by two of his deputies – Niki Sumi and Starson Lamkang.
“The abrogation was the final blow to Khaplang. It was the biggest fault that he could commit. Khaplang once used to be the best leader, but over the years he has been constantly misguided by some of his deputies, precisely Starson and Sumi. Even the abrogation of the ceasefire was the result of it,” Wangtin maintained.
The 50-year-old leader said that the octogenarian rebel leader, apart from his own men, was also misguided by other militant groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), too, have been guiding Khaplang against the Indian Government. All the groups have their base around the Indo-Myanmar border.
“It’s very unfortunate that before the abrogation of the ceasefire Khaplang was told that the Indian Government will fear them if the ceasefire was violated. Even I and Tikhak tried to make his understand, but instead of listening to us he expelled us,” said Wangtin.
The NSCN (Reformation) was formed in April after Wangtin and Tikhak were expelled from the NSCN (Khaplang) after differences with its leadership.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at Rupesh.email@example.com)