Community outreach leads NSCN-IM & NNPG leaders into same Kohima hotel
New Delhi/Kohima, Jun 16 : It's not a bizarre thing to happen elsewhere. Two rival political parties or different organisations could definitely end up at a same hotel for respective conclaves. But in the context of Nagaland, it has been billed as rare. Such an eventuality in the eighties and nineties could have triggered a minor gunbattle.
As the NSCN-IM is firm about its commitment to Flag and Constitution - and the umbrella body NNPG, which is committed to an early solution, start their outreach programme meeting various leaders, youths, and elders - on Wednesday, the leaders from the two militant forces ended up at the same hotel.
Of course the specific meeting places/halls were different and the timing too. Hence, neither the leaders bumped into each other nor there were any firework.
"This is a season of peace making in Nagaland, everywhere there is clamour for ending the gun culture. So, the positive side of community outreach has to be 'positive' always," says an informed source.
A group of Chakhesang leaders from Phek and Kohima districts and especially elders including former legislators interacted with the pro-Solution NNPG leaders.
"Certain details on the peace parleys between N Kitovi Zhimomi-led NNPG and the Government of India were shared and discussed. The Status Paper is very transparent and so is the ground rules laid under the Agreed Position inked in 2017. But discussions and two-way communication is always better. This exercise will give a boost to peace parleys," one source told IANS sounding optimistic.
On the other hand, the NSCN-IM leaders led by a trusted aide of general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah landed at the particular hotel at around 1430 hours as the meeting was to start only in the afternoon. They reportedly interacted with some Angami youths from capital Kohima and adjoining areas.
Whether the community youth leaders represented in individual or personal capacities or on behalf of some organisations is not quite sure as of now.
"Details of deliberations were not made available," the source maintained.
The NSCN-IM is still insisting on a separate Constitution and Flag. The Naga Students Federation in a veiled manner has backed the NSCN-IM stance and said the Naga youth and students will "never accept an economic package based piecemeal solution".
The general understanding is that the discussions between youths and NSCN-IM revolved around the Framework Agreement signed on Aug 3, 2015.
In Delhi, analysts feel "nothing can be more positive" than the two prominent militant groups and major stakeholders in the peace process trying to reach out to the common people.
Observers feel public pressure and a few well informed spirited individuals and some influential organisations making statements in media and writing articles have had positive impact in the peace process.
The hurdles will be removed, a source said.
An influential Naga organisation of ex-MPs and former state legislators 'The Ex-Parliamentarian Association of Nagaland' in a statement has lately urged "the Naga negotiators (read NSCN-IM leadership) in particular to be practical and realistic rather than rhetoric in persuasion".
The signatories have cautioned that the "indefinite negotiations" will be "detrimental" to the welfare of the general public. The Naga peace talks started way back in 1997.
The signatories including Joshua Sumi and Supongmeren Jamir said it is time for "immediate solution" to the protracted Naga political issue.
The Naga Tribal Council and respected Gaon Burrah Federation have also earlier sought intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inking a final peace pact at the earliest.