The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s objections to proposals about a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas delayed efforts to find a solution to the conflict in the region, insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has said.
The NSCN (IM), the largest Naga rebel group, has been demanding a separate Naga flag and a Constitution during its peace talks with the Centre. In 2015, it had signed a Framework Agreement with the Centre, on the basis of which a final agreement is to be signed.
The NSCN (IM) said on July 24 in a statement to the media that the “manifesto of the RSS/Hindutva” sharply contradicted the principles agreed upon in the Framework Agreement. “The irony is that this matter was already resolved long back but the RSS factor came in between questioning how there can be two flags and two constitutions,” it said.
The insurgent group said that some people had an incorrect impression that peace talks were being delayed because of a dispute over the proposed separate flag and Constitution. “Whereas it is not the case because the flag and the constitution are the component ingredients embraced in the Framework Agreement,” the statement added.
The demand of separatist groups for a sovereign Naga homeland gave rise to militancy that started six decades ago. In 2015, the Centre appointed former special director at the Intelligence Bureau RN Ravi as an interlocutor with rebel groups.
In September 2021, retired Intelligence Bureau chief AK Mishra took over as the interlocutor after Ravi took oath as the Tamil Nadu governor.
The NSCN (IM) claimed on July 24 that neither Ravi nor Mishra claimed that the Framework Agreement did not mention a separate flag and Constitution. However, it alleged that the “habitual betraying character” of the Centre gave rise to confusion.
“Certainly, [the Government of India] is entirely responsible for the delay,” the insurgent group said.