Naga talks: Arunachal welcomes Centre’s decision to consult all stakeholders

ITANAGAR, Nov 1: Arunachal Pradesh on Friday welcomed the Centre’s decision to consult all stakeholders, including the three states sharing borders with Nagaland, before finalizing any settlement in the Naga peace process.
Several organisations led by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) also reiterated that the outcome of the Naga peace process should not disturb the state’s territorial jurisdiction.
The Centre on Thursday said it is yet to conclude talks with Naga insurgent groups and will consult all stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal, before finalization of any settlement.
Welcoming the central government’s decision to consult all stakeholders on the issue, Home Minister Bamang Felix termed it a “comprehensive policy.”
“The state government will place its opinion to the Centre, keeping in view the interest of the state and its people, when called for consultation,” Felix told PTI.
AAPSU general secretary Tabom Dai also welcomed the central government’s decision but said administrative interferences within the territory of Arunachal would not be tolerated at any cost.
“The ongoing peace talks should have been more transparent from the very beginning for all stakeholders to follow and place their valued opinions,” Dai said.
Arunachal Civil Society chairperson Patey Tayum said if the Centre accepts the NSCN (IM)’s demand for unification of all Naga inhabited areas, the people in three eastern districts of the state would suffer a lot.
“The people of Tirap, Changlang and Longding are suffering because of decades-old insurgency problem, and the pace of development has been slow in those districts,” Tayum said.
The NSCN (IM) had demanded ‘Nagalim’ or ‘Greater Nagaland’, in which all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast would be under one administrative umbrella.
The map of Nagalim, released by the NSCN (IM) a few years ago, spreads over 1,03,473 sq kms beyond the 16,527 sq km area of Nagaland. It includes Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Longding, Namsai and Tirap districts of Arunachal.
The NSCN-IM, as well as its rival factions, claimed that these areas, primarily Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts, are dominated by Nagas.
Successive governments in Arunachal have time and again made it clear that they would not compromise on the state’s territorial integrity.
However, the central government has rejected the NSCN (IM)’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas located in Manipur, Arunachal and Assam. The three northeastern states have also vehemently opposed it.
The peace talks to find a lasting solution to the seven-decade-old insurgency problem in Nagaland continued for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, with the Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi holding discussions with the NSCN (IM).
The outcome of Thursday’s meeting was not known immediately.
While the dialogue with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) is said to be over, talks with the NSCN (IM), a major insurgent group in the Northeast, has been centred on its demands for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.
A framework agreement was signed on 3 August, 2015, by NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah and Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough coming in 1997, when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s Independence in 1947. (PTI)