Nagalim: NSCN Renews Naga Areas Unification Demand
"We on our part are going to press our demand for unification of all Naga inhabited areas in the northeast," National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) leader Kraibo Chawang told IANS here in Nagaland's commercial hub of Dimapur. Guerrilla leaders of the NSCN led by Thuingaleng Muivah are expected to hold a fresh round of talks with a team of ministers and New Delhi's chief peace negotiator K. Padmanabhaiah. The last round of talks between the two sides ended inconclusively last month in New Delhi. "The pace of the talks is tardy, but it is moving on the right track," Chawang said.
Muivah along with the outfit's senior leader, Isak Chishi Swu, arrived in New Delhi in December at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for furthering the peace talks. The two self-exiled leaders have been operating from Southeast Asian cities for the past 38 years.
"We expect New Delhi to honour our unification demand and pave the way for a permanent solution to the Naga insurgency problem," the NSCN leader said. The NSCN, the oldest and the most powerful of around 30 rebel armies in India's northeast, wants the creation of a "Greater Nagaland" by slicing off parts of the neighbouring states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh that has sizeable Naga tribal populations. The NSCN is currently holding peace talks with New Delhi after the two sides entered into a ceasefire in 1997. Nagaland, where over 25,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency since India's independence from Britain in 1947, is a majority Christian state of two million people. The three regional governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have already rejected the NSCN demand for unification of Naga dominated areas. "We are not demanding territories of our neighbours, but simply claiming our own land that is part of history," Chawang said.
"There can be no compromise on our demand for merger." The demand for integrating Naga inhabited areas has led to angry protests with thousands of people in the past few days taking to the streets in Assam. "We are ready to shed blood to protect our territorial integrity," Arunim Das, a protestor in Assam's main city of Guwahati said.
Source: India News