The Nagaland Public Action Committee (NPAC) has deferred its proposed January 14 statewide bandh. This was informed through a press release following the opposition expressed by various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) since NPAC announced it on Thursday last.
The Chakhesang Public Organization (CPO) through a press release expressed that it is “disturbed by the decision of Nagaland People’s Action Committee (NPAC) to impose blanket bandh on January 14 and made their stand clear that “we have not endorsed or authorized NPAC”.
The CPO further added that the celebration of the premier festival of the Chakhesangs – Sukrunye is underway and thus, in the light of the above, the CPO will neither participate nor enforce the bandh on January 14, 2023 within its jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the president of the Angami Public Organization (APO) Razouvotuo Chatsu also informed that the state-wide bandh called under the banner of Nagaland People’s Action Committee (NPAC) will not be enforced under APO jurisdiction.
According to Chatsu, the view of APO is that “NPAC is not mandated or authorized by the apex tribe organizations” and, therefore, have no authority to give directives to the apex tribal bodies.
However, he maintained that Nagas were for early solution to the vexed Naga political issue and reminded that the 14 apex tribal hohos had already issued a statement in this regard.
The Tenyimi Union Dimapur (TUD) while welcoming any positive steps taken by any organization towards an honorable settlement of the Naga political struggle expressed skepticism over the “actions of some vested individuals and organizations” and resolved not to participate in the said bandh and directed its members to refrain from participating in the same.
According to the Union, “It is unbecoming of any organization/organizations to call for bandh every now and then according to their whims and fancies which inevitably harass the common public.”
The TUD reaffirmed its stand on the political principle of “One People, One Nation” taken at the Consultative meeting on 28 June 2022, based on the ideals of the 1951 Plebiscite which according to them “is acceptable, honorable and inclusive of all Nagas and groups.”
“Nagas are at a critical juncture now with enemies both within and outside trying to destroy the very fabric of our Naga Nationhood for which our forefathers had sacrificed much,” the TUD stated, appealing every right thinking Naga to be wary of such elements.
How NPAC was formed
According to the press release from NPAC, “the absence of a regular common platform for the communities and tribes in Nagaland” always remained a setback when common interests were to be pursued collectively. And, accordingly, “the same predicament was faced when the people of Nagaland had to actively pursue and facilitate the political negotiation between Gol and the Nagas.”
“And in view of the inordinate delay of political solution, the tribal bodies and CSOs numbering 72 organizations under the initiative of NGBF converged on 21 June 2022 at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur and resolved to form Nagaland People’s Action Committee (NPAC),” the committee stated.
The committee, according to them, consisted of limited members headed by Theja Therieh as Convener who was empowered to carry out the collective decision to urge the negotiating parties to expedite its logical conclusion.
“The life of NPAC is co-terminus with the closure of political negotiations, success or failure,” the committee added.
Why NPAC called for the bandh
According to NPAC, during the last 25 years of continuous negotiation between the Nagas and the GoI, the NGOs, CSOs and the tribal bodies have submitted several representations and memorandums, particularly to the Prime Minister of India urging to resolve the Naga political issue without further delay.
However, it said, despite observing bandhs and public rallies in Nagaland against the delay of the decision, “the political solution remains elusive even in its 26th years of political talks.”
“In the light of the above brief background, the NPAC in its meeting yesterday, the 12th January 2023 at Dimapur decided to have statewide bandh on 14th January just for 6 hours – 6:00 am to 12:00 noon,” it stated.
Moreover, the committee claimed that “the press statement of the 14 tribes published on 11th January 2023 reiterating and reaffirming their existing resolution of urging the Gol to settle the Naga political issue without delay confirmed the public opinion enough for the negotiators to understand the sentiment of Naga public to not further resort to any other alternative.”
“In the same pulse, the NPAC standing for common cause announced its proposed statewide bandh on January 14,” the committee explained.
What made NPAC call off the bandh
According to NPAC, they received an official written note from Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) appealing to review the proposed bandh, further stating that a meeting of 8 Naga tribes is being convened on January 17 to deliberate the same issue.
“Since CNTC has been the backbone,” the NPAC said they “needed to give credence to its advice” and had confidently shifted the given challenge to tribal bodies including members of CNTC, saying, “We do not doubt about the sincerity and commitment of our tribal leaders towards solution for election.”
The NPAC stated that they consider their mission successful in being able to awaken the primary stakeholders satisfactorily to take their mandated responsibility..
“In the hope that the tribal bodies would not fail the citizens of Nagaland, the NPAC has deferred the proposed bandh tomorrow, the 14th January 2023. The NPAC assures our people that we continue to give our unreserved cooperation to anyone who is for political solution first before election,” the committee maintained.