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Centre soon to announce peace agreement with NSCN (IM)

Context:

  • The Centre will soon announce peace agreement with NSCN (IM) either before Christmas or assembly election due in February.
  • By far, talks with at least five or six Naga groups could not fix any conclusion.

Why is it in news?

  • It has been ages since the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim.
  • It wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas.
  • But the three states that have Naga populations have refused to part with even an inch of land.
  • In this context, the Centre is engaged in peace talks with NSCN (IM) for last the 22 years and in 2015, a ‘Framework Agreement’ was signed.
  • Most recently, the centre brought six other insurgent groups of Nagaland on board for the peace process in September, 2017 to find an all-inclusive lasting solution.
  • The Centre is likely to announce the peace agreement with NSCN (IM) and six other groups either before Christmas or assembly election due in February.

The map of ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim:

  • The map of Greater Nagalim comprising “all Naga-inhabited areas” shows a 1,20,000 sq km sprawl across the Northeast and Myanmar.
  • It covers a sizeable portion of:
  • Assam’s Tinsukia, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts;
  • all of Longding, Tirap, Changlang, Lohit and Namsai districts in Arunachal; and
  • large parts of Manipur’s Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong districts.
  • The area of Nagaland state is only 16,527 sq km, a fraction of the NSCN(IM)’s “Greater Nagalim”.

What is the conflict between Assam and Nagaland?

  • Assam has complained of encroachment by Nagaland.
  • Assam says Nagaland has set up three civil subdivisions on Assamese territory.
  • Friction over the boundary has led to several rounds of violence, leading to over a hundred deaths.
  • Nagaland insists that more land that has “historically” belonged to the Nagas continues to remain under Assam’s “occupation”.
  • The state says that the 16-point agreement of 1960 that led to its creation included the “restoration” of all Naga territories transferred out of the Naga Hills after the British annexed Assam in 1826.
  • It is quite evident that territorial integrity of Assam would not be compromised at any cost.

What will be the consequences if the geographical integration is approved?

  • This will bring many unwanted incidents and may result in communal clash in the State.
  • There will be hurdles in advancing many projects and schemes including the power sub-stations at Elang Khangpokpi and Chandel.
  • There will be loss of national unity and integrity.
  • The approval will encourage other states of the country to demand geographical integration.

What is the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland ( NSCN)?

  • The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland( NSCN) is a Greater Naga Revolutionist, Christian Naga nationalist insurgent group operating mainly in Northeast India.

Objectives:

  • The main goal of the organisation is to establish a sovereign Naga state, “Nagalim”, which would consist of all the areas inhabited by the Naga people in Northeast India and Northwest Myanmar.
  • Unification of all Naga tribes under one administration and liberating Nagalim from India is listed as one of the supposed main objectives of the organisation.
  • Its manifesto is based on the principle of Socialism for economic development.

What is the way ahead?

  • The country needs to be integrated culturally, emotionally and socially, which does not affect anybody.
  • Any solution to end the Naga insurgency should not be confined to Nagaland state only instead it should take into account the arguments put forward by the other states.
  • The Centre should not try to “settle” a particular community as the border state (Manipur) is inhabited by more than 30 different ethnic groups and is not a domain of one community.
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