GUWAHATI: Accusing the Centre of allowing Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh
to disturb its ongoing peace process, the Isak-Muivah faction of major Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on Wednesday warned that Nagas would defend their “ancestral land” at any cost and as such, they should not be blamed for the worst to happen.
“The all-out support to Ibobi Singh has created huge trust deficit in the Central leadership of India. It is a matter of great surprise to us as the Government of India allowed Ibobi Singh to disturb the peace process at this crucial stage. The Nagas will defend their ancestral land at any cost. Therefore, the Nagas can no longer be blamed for the worst to happen,” the outfit said in a statement.
The statement came a day after Manipur government started clearing the two blockade-enforced national highways to bring stranded goods-laden trucks to Imphal Valley.
The NSCN-IM alleged that the existing problem in Manipur, triggered by State government’s decision to create seven districts without consulting the Nagas, was created by Ibobi out of his sheer desperation.
“At his behest, the Government of India is sending additional central forces against the Nagas. This clearly shows the nexus between Ibobi and Government of India. Where is the sincerity of Government of India in resolving the Indo-Naga problem?” the outfit, which has been in peace mode since 1997, asked.
It alleged that the creation of the new districts by carving out land from “Naga territory” without Nagas’ consent was a deliberate act to suppress their rights. The outfit said Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla’s assent to the creation of the new districts was a testimony that the Centre was instrumental in using Ibobi to please the Meiteis (Manipuris) at the expense of the Nagas.
“Is this not a treacherous attempt to undermine the peace talks on the part of Government of India? Will the Indo-Naga problem be solved through Ibobi Singh? We are serious! The fate of the Nagas will never be placed in the hands of anyone,” the NSCN-IM said.
“We are serious about the political solution. We have not betrayed the Government of India all these long years of political negotiation. However, it would be wise on their part to seek a realistic approach to the Indo-Naga issue. The Indian leadership must realize the futility of using armed forces against the Nagas lest the hard-earned peace process would be rendered meaningless. Ibobi’s refusal to have a tripartite talk is bound to invite an endless confrontation,” it warned.
Source: New Indian Express