UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-3- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
The Naga insurgency has been an internal issue for decades since independence. The Centre is now in the final stages of signing a peace deal with the NSCN-IM.
- The conflict dates back when the British colonists annexedthe Naga Hills. By 1918, the seeds of Naga nationalism had taken root.
- The Naga Club advocatedagainst integrating the Nagalim with the rest of India.
- Just before independence government reached a 9-Point Agreement, which allowed the Nagas to “develop themselves according to their freely expressed wishes.”
- A disagreement over the deal led to a Naga declaration of independence, Aug14 1947. India responded by sending its armed forces, thus beginning a violent insurgency.
- Various peace efforts taken by India over the years were rejected by the rebel groups.
The government has taken various measures to quell the insurgency,
- Article 371A – Special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland. Through this special protection was given to culture, customary practices and administration of the Nagas.
- In 1960, a 16-Point Agreement was signed that created the Nagaland state and gave local bodies significant autonomy over governance.
- The Shillong Accord of 1975, where a segment of the Naga National Council agreed to unconditionally accept the Constitution of India and relinquish arms.
- The August 2015 Framework Agreement was signed between the government of India and the NSCN-IM. Through this the government recognized the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations.”
- Security measures have been taken from time to time. Cooperation with Myanmar to counter the insurgencies acting from Myanmar.
Five years since the signing of a framework agreement between the Indian government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), the deadlock in the talks that came about in October 2019 persists with the emergence of bottlenecks.
The NSCN (I-M) has demanded that Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi should be removed as the interlocutor for talks on the Naga accord.
What created bottlenecks:
- The Governor had sent a letter in June addressed to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
- He alleged the collapse of law and order and that armed gangs “who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation” were engaging in “blatant extortion” in the letter.
- This touched a sore spot for the NSCN (I-M).
- The group defended the practice by terming it “tax collection”.
- This has become an issue for the peace process with the NSCN (I-M) going on to release details of the 2015 framework agreement that has not been shared in the public domain so far.
Greater Nagalim – disrupting the boundaries:
- The NSCN (I-M) still insists on a “Greater Nagalim” beyond the boundaries of Nagaland State besides seeking a flag and constitution.
- Talks were expanded in 2017 by including other Naga groups under the banner, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
- Most of the NNPGs based in Nagaland on the other hand have sought to settle the issue without disturbing the State boundaries while keeping the “Greater Nagalim” question in abeyance.
- Any moves to alter boundaries will intensify ethnic conflicts and insurgencies beyond Nagaland, especially in Manipur.
- The increasing support in Nagaland for a solution without affecting boundaries should have compelled the NSCN (I-M) to move away from its intransigent position.
- The Central government needs to take their concerns on board and reiterate its commitment to finalising the Naga accord while seeking to re-engage with the NSCN (I-M) without giving in to its arbitrary demands.
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