NSCN (IM) denies indulging in extortion; says Naga issue isn’t ‘law and order’ problem
Dimapur, June 27 (EMN): The NSCN (IM) has denied indulging in extortion activities while asserting that any interlocutor representing the government of India who handles the Naga issue as a ‘law and order’ problem is not the right person to solve the long-standing Indo-Naga issue.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the NSCN (IM) maintained that “there were offshoots of pseudo-nationalists tagged with high sounding names” taking advantage of peaceful environment created by the Indo-Naga ceasefire.
“But in the long run they proved themselves nothing less than commercialised organisations least connected with Naga political issue. Nobody cried foul against such mushrooming of mercenary groups which is the root cause of the problem today that smears the ongoing Indo-Naga political process. NSCN is the recognised and legitimate national organisation of the Naga people and not a gang,” read the statement.
It stated that the Indo-Naga talks have passed into the hands of six Indian prime ministers so far.
“Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel got brighter when the historic framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, supervised and guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This agreement recognised the sovereign right of the Naga people on the basis of the unique history of the Nagas and stressed on peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power.
“What is significantly important is the inherent right of any sovereign people and nation to collect taxes from the people and commercial establishments. This is the universal practice as seen all over the world. Taxes have been the sources of sustenance that has brought the Naga political movement this far. This was legitimately acknowledged by the earlier Interlocutors and Indian authorities and it was never an issue. What has complicated the situation as seen today is the madness of ‘extortions’ that are being carried out by some groups in the guise of freedom fighters. NSCN did not and does not commit extortion at any point of time but levies legitimate taxes from the people,” it stated.
The group pointed out that in the history of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), of which the NSCN (IM) is a bona fide member, no ‘gang’ has found its place.
“Only legitimate political organisations of peoples and nations are admitted in the fold of UNPO. Many pseudo-organisations tried to find their way into UNPO but failed to pass the final scrutiny.
“Any Indian interlocutor who represents the government of India needs to prove himself as a man who stands committed to solve the longest political conflict in Southeast Asia. But if he finds pleasure to handle the Naga issue as a ‘law and order’ problem he is not the right person to solve the long standing Indo-Naga problem. Such an Indian Interlocutor will rather complicate and prolong the process which is not the desire of both the Indians and the Nagas,” read the statement.
It may be noted that Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the Centre’s interlocutor for Indo-Naga talks, had recently written a letter to the chief minister demanding action against ‘armed gangs’ and extortion activities in the state.
This was followed by the Nagaland Police calling for a press conference and listing the number of arrests being made and cases filed against members of Naga groups in the past five years.