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Nagas Appeal to Suspend Nagaland Assembly Elections in December

The pressure is now on the Union Government to come to a final agreement.

Image Courtesy: North East Today

On December 7, the Nagaland Legislators Forum (NLF) passed a resolution to defer the assembly elections in the state until after the Framework Agreement becomes a solution to the ‘Naga question’. On December 9, the Naga National Political Groups Working Committee called upon the Government of India to suspend the assembly elections until a final agreement is reached.

The Indo-Naga Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council for Nagalim Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM). Not much is actually known about the contents of the agreement since the Union Home Ministry has cited national security concerns about divulging its details. At present, apart from the NSCN(IM), the parties to the Framework Agreement include 6 NNPGs and other civil society groups. The Naga parties to the Framework Agreement have also urged other Naga militant groups to join, including the NSCN(K) which has unilaterally abrogated the Ceasefire Agreement with the Union of India in March 2015.

There is a lot of speculation on what the final agreement will contain. According to the Hindustan Times, the Nagas may get a separate flag and a status similar to that of Jammu and Kashmir, which would require a constitutional amendment. What is disconcerting to the states bordering Nagaland is the idea that all Naga inhabited areas will be brought under the territory of Nagaland. The states that have populations of Nagas are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Manipur. The leader of the NSCN(IM) Thuingaleng Muivah is a Thangkhul Naga from Manipur. There is also talk that the NSCN(IM) will not decommission its ‘army’ and will instead enter into a defense agreement with the Union of India. The plan is to patrol the India-Myanmar border to check the flow of northeast militants.

With pressure now being placed on the Union Government to come to a final agreement, the Nagas have signalled that they do not want this to become another Shillong Accord, which saw the dissidents to the agreement become the NSCN.

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