In a press interaction today in Dimapur, Niki Sumi, the president of NSCN-K (Niki), reiterated the group’s uncompromising stand on border matters, stressing the historical presence of Nagas on both sides of the Myanmar-India border.
“There are Nagas on the Myanmar side of the border; there are Nagas on the Indian side of the border. Before India got its independence or sovereignty, Nagas were there; Before Burma got independence, Nagas were there. Where was the border during those times?” Sumi questioned.
This declaration comes in response to the central government’s move to abolish the Free Movement Regime (FMR), a decision that has sparked controversy among various Naga organizations. Sumi dismissed the fuss over FMR, emphasizing that Nagas should decide on the matter themselves and called for unity among them.
“Nagas must first unite. Who among us will be able to do what?” he urged the divided Nagas.
Addressing the Government of India’s claim that the removal of FMR aims to curb drug trafficking, Sumi challenged the assertion. “They keep saying drugs – What drugs? Even if there is no drug from Myanmar, are we not getting a thousand crore worth of drugs from Afghanistan?” he questioned.
Sumi clarified that the FMR issue is not merely political or factional but a Naga issue.
On the unity of Naga national workers and his role, he said it was not his job to unite the Nagas, adding, “When I meet IM, some public will be like, look, he’s meeting IM. When I meet the NNPGs, someone will start a propaganda such as he’s meeting them because he’s Nagas of Nagaland and so on.”
“I signed the ceasefire and came because I was told that Nagas would unite; otherwise, I thought I would stand until Nagas achieved sovereignty. Before I signed the ceasefire, it was Nagas that said ‘inclusive one solution’,” Sumi stated, asking people and intellectuals to suggest what they have to do.
On the formation of a core committee by the Nagaland government to facilitate a Naga political solution, Sumi questioned the commitment of officials claiming to bring independence. He suggested they resign from their posts if they are genuinely dedicated to the cause.
“All are saying they’ll bring independence. They’ll not sacrifice a bit for the Nagas. They are there to implement the Indian Constitution by hook or crook. What solution will they bring?” said Sumi of the elected representatives.
Sumi speculated that the central government’s move to abolish FMR might have been planned for a long time, indicating potential shifts in the direction of Naga peace talks. Despite this, he affirmed NSCN-K’s unwavering demand for Naga sovereignty, with or without fencing.