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24-May-2024-Editorial

May 24 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NAGALAND INSURGENCY 

The Naga insurgency is one of the longest-running ethnic conflicts in India, primarily driven by the quest for Naga sovereignty and autonomy. The conflict has deeply affected the socio-political dynamics of the northeastern region of India.  

Recently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) accused the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) of collaborating with Meitei insurgent groups, adding another layer to the complex conflict. 

Naga Insurgency and Related Issues 

Who is the Nagas? 

  • Indigenous Community: The Nagas are indigenous people living in northeastern India and adjacent areas of Myanmar. 
  • Ethnic Origin: They are believed to be Indo-Mongoloids who migrated around the 10th century BC. 

Historical Background 

  • British Rule: The Nagas experienced foreign rule for the first time when the British occupied their territory in the 19th century. 
  • World War II: The Nagas supported British forces during WWII, gaining political leverage. 
  • Naga National Council (NNC): Established in 1946, the NNC signed a Nine-Point Agreement with the Assam Governor, ensuring Naga autonomy. 
  • Naga Independence Declaration: On 14th August 1947, the Nagas declared their independence. 
  • Armed Struggle: In the 1950s, the NNC adopted armed resistance, forming the Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) in 1952. 

Splits and Factions 

  • Shillong Accord (1975): This peace accord led to a split within the NNC, with some leaders dissatisfied with the terms. 
  • Formation of NSCN: The NSCN emerged from a split in the NNC and further divided into NSCN-IM (Isak-Muivah) and NSCN (Khaplang) in 1988. 

Core Issues 

  • Greater Nagalim: The main demand is for a unified Naga homeland, incorporating Naga-inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, and Myanmar, aimed at sovereign statehood. 
  • Separate Constitution and Flag: The demand includes a distinct Naga Yezabo (Constitution) and a national flag. 

Peace Initiatives 

Shillong Accord (1975) 

  • Disarmament Agreement: NNC leadership agreed to give up arms, but internal dissent led to the formation of NSCN. 

Ceasefire Agreement (1997) 

  • NSCN-IM Ceasefire: The group agreed to cease attacks on Indian forces, and in return, the government halted counter-insurgency operations. 

Framework Agreement (2015) 

  • Recognition: The Government of India recognized the unique history, culture, and aspirations of the Nagas in this agreement. 

Conflict in Manipur 

Historical Context 

  • Geographic Division: Manipur is divided into valley districts dominated by Meitei and hill districts home to Naga and Kuki-Chin-Mizo-Zomi tribes. 
  • British Era: The British brought Kuki settlers to buffer against Naga raids on the Meitei-dominated valley. 

Ethnic Tensions 

  • Kuki-Meitei Divide: Historical tensions exacerbated by insurgencies among the Naga, Meitei, and Kuki-Zomi groups. 

Recent Conflict 

  • Delimitation Issues: Controversy over census data and representation during the 2020 delimitation process. 
  • Myanmar Migrants: Influx of refugees following the 2021 coup in Myanmar, leading to tensions in Churachandpur. 
  • Eviction Protests: Violence erupted over the eviction of Kuki villages, which were termed “illegal settlements.” 

Convergence of Militancy 

  • NSCN-IM and Meitei Groups: Collaboration during the current ethnic crisis. 
  • People’s Liberation Army (PLA): A significant Meitei insurgent group advocating for Manipur’s secession. 

Status of Conflicts in Other North-Eastern States 

Mizoram 

  • Pre-Statehood Militancy: Response to inadequate famine aid, leading to the Mizo National Front’s demand for independence in 1966. 
  • Statehood: Achieved in 1987, stabilizing the region. 

Tripura 

  • Demographic Shifts: Influx of migrants from East Bengal reduced indigenous tribes to a minority, sparking militant responses. 

Assam 

  • Illegal Migration: Led to the formation of militant groups like ULFA, demanding the deportation of illegal migrants. 

Meghalaya 

  • Tribal Autonomy: The creation of Meghalaya aimed at meeting tribal needs but also sparked insurgencies for greater autonomy. 

Arunachal Pradesh 

  • Recent Insurgency: Historically peaceful, but insurgency has increased due to proximity to Myanmar and Nagaland. 

Way Forward 

Policy Recommendations 

  • Tribal Status: Evaluate ST status for Meitei community based on Lokur Committee and Bhuria Commission recommendations. 
  • Border Surveillance: Strengthen measures to prevent migrant infiltration from Myanmar. 
  • Diplomatic Relations: Enhance ties with neighbouring countries to improve regional stability. 
  • Identity Preservation: Protect cultural identities of border communities and negotiate peace with insurgent groups. 
  • Review of AFSPA: Regularly assess and implement confidence-building measures. 
  • Local Involvement: Involve local populations in decision-making to foster ownership and connection. 

Conclusion 

Addressing the Naga insurgency and related conflicts in Northeast India requires a multi-faceted approach, including equitable development, political inclusion, and enhanced security measures. Promoting dialogue, understanding, and cooperation is crucial for achieving lasting peace and stability in the region. 

Details

Date:
May 24
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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