Debating India

NAGALAND

Nagalim will not be part of India, says Muivah

Friday 22 December 2006, by BHATTACHARYYA*Rajeev

New Delhi, December 21: Minutes after he landed in the Capital, NSCN(I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah fired a salvo against the Government saying that the Nagalim (Greater Nagaland) envisaged by the outfit would not be part of the Indian union and that the ongoing peace process could reach a logical conclusion only if a federal relationship was arrived at between the two units.

Nagas have a unique history and we want a federal relationship between India and Nagalim... Let us not forget that we have our own rights. What is ours, we must have it,” Muivah told a gathering of Naga students at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after his arrival from Amsterdam last night.

The general secretary’s visit to India is the third in four years. NSCN(I-M) sources said that Muivah’s itinerary would be finalised in a few days, including the dates for his visit to Nagaland, which is likely after Christmas. A nine-member delegation from the outfit’s headquarters at Camp Hebron in Dimapur has also joined him in New Delhi.

The nine-year-old peace process has reached a critical juncture with the Government examining several options to accommodate some key demands of the outfit. The Manmohan Singh government is also concerned over the forthcoming Assembly polls in Manipur early next year since Nagas inhabit four out of the total of five hill districts in the state. NSCN(I-M) has repeatedly complained about the tardy progress made in the talks and has accused the Centre of aiding its rivals in Nagaland.

A Home Ministry source expressed hope that a few round of talks would be held with the outfit before the leader leaves the country. Muivah will renew his visa to the Netherlands and is expected to be joined by chairman Isak Chisi Swu in Delhi sometime in January.

Muivah, however, appreciated the PM’s invitation which according to him revealed an “earnest” desire to ensure that the “issue did not go out of hand”. He was taken to a high security bungalow by security personnel soon after his interaction with the students.

See online : The Indian Express

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