National Socialist Council of Nagaland wants Referendum
The talks between the Centre and the outfit had not inched forward as both sides were unable to resolve the contentious issue. While the NSCN (IM) insisted on its demand for integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas of the region, New Delhi rejected the demand.
The NSCN (IM) has now alternatively called for a referendum in Naga-inhabited areas to find out whether Nagas living in other states wanted to live under a single administrative roof, or in plain words merge with the present Nagaland.
Though the peace talks are in progress, "if something goes wrong and the situation demands, we will go back to the people and seek a referendum on the issue,"said NSCN (IM) information kilonser (minister) Karaibo Chawang.
The Greater Nagalim demand has created bad blood between the NSCN (IM) leaders and the central team, which is negotiating with the outfit. Besides neighbouring states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh opposing the demand, the UPA's common minimum programme at the Centre gave its commitment to preserving the existing territorial boundaries of northeast states.
In the recent talks at Amsterdam, NSCN (IM) had even threatened to pull out of the ceasefire over the issue, but was convinced by the central team to maintain a congenial atmosphere for the peace talks to progress. However, the outfit only agreed to extend the ceasefire by six months, unlike previous years where the ceasefire was extended for one year.
Earlier this month, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio also favoured a referendum in Naga-inhabited areas on the issue of Greater Nagalim.
Source: The Times of India