NSCN factions end ceasefire review meetings with Centre on positive note

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NEW DELHI,  September 20 (Vision Communications): The two-day ceasefire review meetings between the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the three different factions belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) ended here today on a positive note.

The MHA was represented by the Special Secretary (Internal Security) Jayaram and Joint Secretary (NE) Shambhu Singh.

The five-member Khole-Kitovi faction was led by Singson while Wangtin Naga headed the five-member NSCN (Khaplang) faction while brigadier general (retd) V S Atem led the NSCN (IM) group.

Expressing satisfaction over the two hour long meeting with the MHA officials on September 19, Singson said, “We are very happy. We have clarified different issues on violation of ceasefire and asked for certain amendments on the ceasefire ground rules so that both sides have equal responsibilities to execute ground rules in letter and spirit.”

Replying to a query on whether they would be formally invited for peace talks with the centre, Singson said that “We have reiterated our demand for invitation to start peace dialogue and we are very hopeful. We have also asked for opening one more designated camp.”

Wangtin Naga also expressed his happiness after his two-and-a-half-hour long meeting with MHA officials on ceasefire.

“Both sides violate ceasefire ground rules. Assam Rifles sometime raid our camps. We might have violated ground rules sometimes. We are trying to control our cadres and leaders and asking them to honour the ground rules. But at the same time we collect taxes which is subscription. They call it extortions.”

Denouncing fratricidal clashes, Wangtin observed, “We condemn killing among ourselves. We don’t support this fratricidal killing. We feel Naga unity is the only silver line. Our split is affecting us. There is no alternative to Naga unity. One day we must come together.”

On the issue of sheltering Paresh Baruah led ULFA insurgent group of Assam and some Manipuri insurgents in the Eastern Nagaland, Wangtin Naga asserted, “They are all Indian. If they have taken shelter in the Eastern Nagaland, how can we stop them or chase them out? We have not invited them. They have come on their own. But we ensure that they do not indulge in any anti-Indian activities in the Eastern Nagaland.”

The NSCN-IM leader VS Atem, however maintained that “We are satisfied over today’s meeting. Many issues are discussed. We have expressed our views and given clarifications on certain issues while the Government of India representatives have given their clarifications.”

Asked when the next round of peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) leadership would take place, Atem made a cryptic observation, “the ball is in the Government of India’s court.”

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