Following recent claims made by the Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (WC NNPGs), the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) has denied allegations that their draft proposal could hamper the Naga National Movement.


The WC NNPGs raised concerns about two key points in the alleged draft submitted by the ENPO to the Government of India (GoI). The first point suggested that upon resolution of the ENPO issue with the GoI, the present National Workers from ENPO areas would be made to surrender along with their arms, while leaders would be provided with licensed arms. The second point proposed fencing and sealing of ENPO areas along the Myanmar border to prevent illegal activities.


Dismissing the allegations, the ENPO released a statement, reassuring all stakeholders that their proposed draft does not hinder the Naga National Movement or violate Article 371A of the Indian Constitution.


The organization clarified that the document circulating on social media, purportedly representing their draft, is “fake and misleading” and urged people to “desist from such unscrupulous and malicious practices.”


The “fake draft” contains certain points such as: to pursue for laying down of arms by the National Workers hailing from Eastern Nagaland region; and to put up border fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border touching the areas of Eastern Nagaland.


The ENPO said that nowhere in the original proposed draft submitted by ENPO to the Government of India is there any mention of surrendering of National Workers from Eastern Nagaland along with arms in the event of signing of Memorandum of Settlement (MoS), “keeping in view that the Naga National Movement is a greater movement for a common cause.”


The ENPO explained that the original proposed draft contained a point to continue their initiative with Naga National Workers from Eastern Nagaland to ensure peace and progress in the region. However, due to a lack of clarity and confusion, they later altered the point as “In order to ensure peace and progress, the ENPO landmark resolution of 18th December, 2007, ‘There shall be no bloodshed, killings, intimidation or any form of violence within ENPO jurisdiction’ shall continue to be in force in the entire region of ENPO.”


The ENPO also emphasized that their draft does not include any reference to fencing the international border with Myanmar.


“Each and every Naga knows that although we are divided by artificial borders, we have our ethnic brothers and sisters across the border, and especially those living in the border areas even have immediate kin,” the ENPO stated.


It pointed out that in 2016, when there was a move to construct fencing along the Myanmar border, the ENPO held a protest rally at Pangsha Helipad and obstructed the move. Further, the Khiamniungan Tribal Council and ENPO officials went to New Delhi in 2017 and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister opposing the move for any fence. As such, the question of a move to fence the international border by ENPO does not arise at all, it added.


The ENPO made clear that the proposed new arrangement is to fulfill people’s aspiration for self-governing administrative set-up under Article 371A of the Constitution of India to enable people of the region to attain their social, political, economic, educational, cultural and linguistic aspirations.


The ENPO clarified that the earlier point suggesting an amendment to Article 371A (1) (d) was now removed entirely from the draft.


It appealed to all Nagas, the Government of Nagaland and all stakeholders to extend moral support and pave a way “as we anticipate a peaceful signing of this new arrangement with the blessings of all the Nagas.”


While tensions continue to surround the Naga political issue, local newspapers in June have also reported that the GoI may consider demanding the surrender and laying down of arms by Naga national workers in Eastern Nagaland as part of a package deal for Frontier Nagaland. However, sources in Delhi asserted that nothing has been finalized yet.


However, commentators have been of the view that the Centre will bank a lot on respective tribal leadership among the 7 tribes to sustain necessary pressure on the national workers as most Naga outfits in the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) are headed by leaders from Eastern Nagaland.


Mokokchung Times

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