Nov 17, 2011

Nagalim: Negotiations Enter Crucial Stage

The continuing negotiations between the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) and the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs have reached a crucial stage with the possibility of ‘Special Category Status’ to Nagaland, including independent councils in the Naga areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. 

Below is an article published by The Asian Age:

With an accord in the offing, what has been kept under wraps so far is that the MHA [Ministry of Home Affairs] has also adopted a liberal approach on the NSCN(I-M) charter of demands, which include a separate flag and Naga nomenclature for official posts in the proposed state, which would with more autonomy.

MHA sources told this newspaper that the ministry had not taken the views of “stakeholder states” into consideration while agreeing to these demands. Negotiators from both sides had also agreed to drop the word “Nagalim” from the proposed agreement, but conceded most demands on which the NSCN (I-M) was set. The outfit has, however, agreed to give up its demand for a “sovereign” Nagaland.

The sources admitted that the three states neighbouring Nagaland may strongly object to the proposed agreement, but […the…] MHA is now likely to hold separate meetings with the CMs of the three states on the issue of Naga-dominated areas. In Assam, a part of North Cachar Hills and some areas on the Karbi Anglong border next to Nagaland are proposed to be administered through a development council
for Nagas. While state boundaries would not change, the proposed councils for Naga-dominated areas outside Nagaland would exercise effective control there. Besides development, the councils will be responsible for protecting Naga culture, customs and traditions in these areas in consultation with Nagaland.

Two similar councils will be formed in Manipur to run Naga-dominated hill areas) and Arunachal Pradesh (to administer Tirap, Changlang and a part of Lohit district). The MHA sources said the creation of these enclaves in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would have serious repercussions: these states have always opposed such proposals.