Press Statement, 26 January, 2020 (Statement condemning Govt. of India’s action)

                                                        GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF NAGALIM

                                                                                  Ministry of Information and Publicity

                                                                                              PRESS STATEMENT

                                                                                         Hebron, 26th January, 2020

After decades of suppressing the Nagas within the purview of India’s “internal law and order issue”, the Government of India (GoI) later on acknowledged that the Indo-Naga issue was political. It was only after the change seen in India’s policy that the NSCN agreed to have political dialogue with the GoI in 1997. The political dialogue has travailed more than two decades and some positive steps were taken with the official recognition in 2002 of the “unique history and situation” of the Nagas and the signing of the 3rd August, 2015 Framework Agreement (FA). The FA, among others recognized the need of ending violent confrontation and recognized the sovereign right of the Naga people and peaceful co-existence of the two entities through the sharing of the sovereign power.

However, much to the indignation of NSCN, the more than two decades of ceasefire and political dialogue has witnessed innumerable violation of Ceasefire Ground Rules by the GoI (violations which are well documented), its security forces and its intelligence agencies particularly the National Investigation Agency (NIA) whose power has been increased in the name of checking terrorism and protecting India’s national security. The NIA has been acting with impunity and intensified its activities particularly after the ultimatum served by the GoI interlocutor in July, 2019 and the deliberate rejection of the FA principle wherein the sovereign rights of the Naga people to use its national flag and constitution has been officially acknowledged. This agency in particular has taken recourse to India’s Law and Order against the NSCN who is having political dialogue with the GoI. The agency, while protecting criminals are implicating members of the NSCN within India’s law and Order Acts and Regulations, and the most recent case is that of Mrs. Alemla Jamir, Cabinet Kilonser, charged paradoxically of “terror  funding”. This accusation has come as total shock and surprise considering the more than two decades of political dialogue with the NSCN.

In this regard, it is relevant to refresh the memory of the GoI concerning the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 18th November, 2002, Milan, Italy (available verbatim on record) between the GoI and the NSCN. The MoU officially agreed to lift the ban on NSCN under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and it was also understood that as the dialogue with the NSCN progresses further and environment becomes more peaceful, other Rules, Regulations and Acts will be reviewed in due course of time. The MoU also agreed that the NSCN leadership, on the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, will come to Delhi in December, 2002 to carry forward the peace dialogue in a spirit of mutual trust and understanding and ensure the safety, security and well-being of the NSCN leaders during their visit to Delhi, India.

However, of late the activities of GoI intelligence agencies, particularly the NIA has definitely created trust deficit in the minds of the Nagas and the NSCN. We doubt the sincerity of the GoI in concluding an acceptable and honorable political solution considering its “carrot and stick” policy. It is only when the GoI starts respecting its commitment, not otherwise, can the political dialogue move forward in the spirit of “mutual trust and understanding”.

This statement has been necessitated in view of the urgency to save the political dialogue instead of creating distrust at this stage and demolishing the political negotiation. The unrestrained excessive activities of NIA will certainly reverse the clock back towards the pre-ceasefire period which witnessed intensive militarization, violent conflict and serious violation of human rights. The situation will certainly go out of control if the GoI does not take corrective measures in the true spirit of the ongoing political dialogue between and GoI and the NSCN.                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                       Issued by MIP