Guwahati: Even as the ongoing peace talks between the Government of India and Naga stakeholders have hit a roadblock, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has said the Nagas are ready to "fight another war" if their political rights and history are not respected if the Centre or its interlocutor is "trying to misinterpret" the prevailing situation or act clever.
In an editorial titled "Government of India Oversight: Indo Naga Political Talks" in the August edition of the rebel outfit's bi-monthly news bulletin, Nagalim Voice, the NSCN (I-M), which is in ceasefire since 1997, said that it still stands firm on shared sovereignty which would include a separate flag and a separate constitution for the Naga people.
The editorial then touches upon the various peace measures effected by both the Centre, the signing of the 'historic' Framework Agreement, the standoff triggered by R.N. Ravi, and its possible ramifications.
The article in its opening paragraph says that back in 1932 when the British first arrived in Naga-inhabited areas, the Nagas have "unwaveringly maintained the right to be independent of any external power, whether it be British or otherwise."
The editorial then goes on to attack the Nagaland governor and interlocutor R N Ravi for his handling of the issue and his "insult" and "disrespect" towards the Nagas. NSCN (IM) also said that the Centre was losing its vision and focus or it is being misled by Ravi, whose "delinquency and double standards will have huge ramification for a country like India".
"They (the Nagas) are still ready to fight another war if their political rights and history are not respected," the editorial adds.
However, if India is keen on solving the political conflict, it must honour the Framework Agreement in letter and spirit, exhibit confidence and trust on the Nagas and must stop employing militaristic approach, law and order approach and divide and rule policy, the NSCN (IM) adds.
"The position of Naga people is clear: respect and honour the political history and rights of the Nagas and we will respect India ten times more," the editorial says in its very last sentence.
On Tuesday, the Nagaland Gaonburah Federation, a committee of village headmen, writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urged him to settle the issue at the earliest by September and not to remove Ravi.
The Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) too is not in favour of removing Ravi as it believes it would push back the whole process.