The Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN, which is now holding peace talks with the Central government after signing a ceasefire pact in August 1997, has reportedly reprimanded one of its members for taking out a peace march carrying the Bharatiya tricolour flag and the ‘Nagalim’ flag, government officials and NSCN-IM sources said on Tuesday.
The issue assumes significance in view of the differences between the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and the Central government over a separate Naga flag and a constitution.
A press statement of NSCN-IM said that Y.S. Mashungmi, who is a bona fide cadre of NSCN, went for the so-called peace march carrying both the national flags of Bharat and ‘Nagalim’ without taking the authority into confidence.
It said that such a one man operation with sensitive political implications is not authorised by the NSCN.
“His daring venture, no matter how patriotic it may appear in the eyes of the beholder, amount to violation of disciplinary code of conduct. Security implications were also taken into account to abort his peace march midway. Mashungmi is being debriefed to establish the idea behind his peace march,” the statement said.
According to a report, Mashungmi, a Tangkhul Naga from Manipur’s Ukhrul district, had recently walked 70 km from Nagaland’s commercial town of Dimapur to state capital Kohima for “spreading the message of peace”.
During his peace march, some NSCN-IM cadres caught him in Kohima and “forcibly” took him to their headquarters at Hebron, about 35 km southwest of Dimapur.
The fate of Mashungmi and his present stay are not clear yet.
The NSCN-IM calls the Naga-inhabited areas in Nagaland and beyond as ‘Nagalim’. The outfit has held a huge number of rounds of negotiations with the Central government in Delhi and even outside Bharat after signing a ceasefire pact in August 1997.
The Central government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed a “framework agreement” with the NSCN-IM in 2015.
The NSCN-IM and the intelligence sources said that while many of the 31 demands of the Nagas have been almost resolved during the talks with the Centre, differences remain over a separate flag and a separate constitution.
Nagalim, a long-pending demand of the NSCN-IM for a separate Naga state, encompasses the Naga-inhabited areas of Myanmar as well as parts of the northeastern states bordering Nagaland.
Nagaland Governor and the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, R.N. Ravi, has recently rejected the demand for a separate flag and constitution for the state as demanded by the NSCN-IM.
On the occasion of the 58th Statehood Day of Nagaland on Tuesday, Ravi said, “The Indian national flag and the constitution are the pride of the people of India. The government is absolutely clear that there is and there shall be only one national flag and constitution in India. Anyone talking anything contrary is peddling preposterous lies. They are trying to confuse and mislead the people.”
The NSCN-IM has also recently sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in the talks for faster determination of their demands, insisting that the negotiations be held in a “third country”.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style guide)
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