NMA Seeks Modi’s Intervention On Indo-Naga Political Issue - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

NMA seeks Modi’s intervention on Indo-Naga political issue

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By EMN Updated: Aug 09, 2020 7:30 am

Dimapur, Aug. 9 (EMN): Perturbed by recent development in the state and the continued militarisation in Naga-inhabited areas, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has sought immediate attention and intervention of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to ensure that the Naga peace negotiations conclude with recognition of the Naga historical rights in mutual respect and understanding for peace, dignity and justice.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India, the NMA reminded how the Naga women have worked hard as peace makers and peacekeepers and supported the long-drawn peace process in the hope that all could live in peace. It also reminded on how as mothers and women they have borne the brunt of militarisation and armed conflict for decades but stood firm on the slogan ‘Shed no more blood’ to ensure that the future generations live in peace and a world free from war.

Through its representation, the NMA has taken a strong exception to the recent letter of the Nagaland Governor to the state chief minister, which has created a deep trust deficit in the peace process. It stated that as the peace interlocutor of the Naga peace talk, it was unbecoming of the governor to refer the Naga political groups as mere ‘armed gangs’ at such a critical period.

As both the chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group and the governor live in the state capital Kohima, NMA felt that they should have co-ordinated and addressed issues like extortions with the state agencies, which was not done. The association also termed it as ‘most unfortunate’ that the interlocutor has been unable to bring the Naga political groups together for an official peace dialogue in resolving the Naga issue for reasons best known to him till date.

NMA stated that it has been advocating the need for the leaders of the Naga political groups to sit together in various peace meetings and chart out the road to a peaceful settlement together. It has attributed the current fragility of the peace process to the inability of the interlocutor.

The association also stated that profiling of Nagas working as state government employees and their relationship with cadres of the Naga political groups under the direct orders of the governor, who is also the peace interlocutor, was highly objectionable. It stated that such order indicated total lack of understanding of Naga political history and the movement for self-determination, which began decades ago with the full participation of almost every Naga family.

Stating that the practice continues till today in many Naga areas, NMA felt that to question the credibility and profile their relations with cadres has brought state government employees under scrutiny which does not bode well for the peace process. It added that the state government employees have been giving the best of their service for the development and growth of the state.

Highlighting its services over the decades for bringing peace and to end armed conflict without any bias, NMA claimed that they are now confronted with situation where the interlocutor, who is also the governor, was bent on threats and hounding the same Naga political groups with whom he is supposed to negotiate and conclude the peace talks. It also resented his disrespect for the Naga people and women in the midst of such crucial dialogue when an official request for any appointment from the NMA was turned down on two occasions.

“Till date, since his arrival in the state, he does not seem to have the time or inclination to listen to voices of women peace makers and peacekeepers, which is most unfortunate. These are serious indications that the governor of the state and interlocutor for peace has not understood the role and contribution of Naga mothers and women for bringing peace thus far and stopping the shed of blood in our land,” the memorandum read.

NMA has also strongly protested the extension of the Disturbed Area Act (DAA) and the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) in the state. It resented that the government of India has extended such draconian laws much against the wishes of the people.

It also pointed out that the heavy movement of security forces into the state in the midst of the pandemic has brought about another threat as the large scale spread of Covid-19 were from the camps of those armed forces.

According to NMA, the number of armed forces testing positive till August 5 was 1078 in the state.

It has, therefore, demanded to stop more reinforcements of armed forces into the state for the safety of the citizens. It also reiterated its demand for the repeal of the AFSPA to usher in an era of peace.

Besides, the NMA has appealed to maintain peace along the border villages and beyond. It also drew the attention of the Prime Minister on the recent killing of six Naga youths in Arunachal Pradesh by the armed forces in a “fake encounter”, the ITC Dan Pangsha ambush by armed forces and killing of unarmed cadres and civilians including a woman and maiming two other women for life and the killing of two children in the Wuzu firing incident, which are yet to see justice.

NMA stated that a petition against the Pangsha killings was placed with photographic evidence before the then union home minister Rajnath Singh by the Naga mothers. It also stated that the petition on the Wuzu firing incident where two children were killed too has not seen any action till date from the government of India and demanded an inquiry into those incidents of extra judicial killings to deter further shedding of blood and impunity of the action of the Indian armed forces.

Further, the NMA demanded that the ceasefire agreement without territorial limit be put in letter and spirit for the sake of bringing a peaceful settlement. It stated that the high militarisation and harassment of poor villagers in bordering area of Nagaland and Myanmar continue in the midst of poverty and the pandemic crisis. It urged to stop such armed activities and militarisation and give the Naga villagers their right to peace and security in these trying times of the pandemic and an unresolved political peace negotiation. It also urged to ensure that such mental trauma and insecurity suffered particularly by women and children in those rural areas be taken into cognisance and all efforts made to mitigate their sufferings.

NMA also expressed confidence that the yearning for peace by all sections of the people would be respected in the truest sense by sagacious political leadership of India.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 09, 2020 7:30:00 am
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