DIMAPUR, JUNE 15 (MExN): A couple of days after walking out of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group meeting (CFMG), the NSCN (IM) today made their stand loud and clear by declaring that it would not accept ML Kumawat as chairman of the group. “We don’t have a chairman now” declared Phungthing Shimrang, convenor of the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell (CFMC) during a press conference in the CFMC office at Diphupar and also announced that the NSCN (IM) would not attend any meeting of the CFMG under Kumawat’s chairmanship. Shimrang said that the NSCN (IM) harbors no personal dislike for Kumawat but the fact that the NSCN (IM) views were not taken to consideration while appointing the new CFMG chairman. Shimrang said that the NSCN (IM) had made it clear to the Government of India that the new chairman would have to be selected on the basis of mutual understanding. He reasoned the imperative that any new incumbent have to be someone who understood the Naga situation so that continuity of the talks can be maintained. The NSCN (IM) accused the Government of India of using the method of changing members as a ploy to delay the talks. This was the problem the outfit had faced for the last ten years with the constant change in the government and especially the IGAR who were changed every two years. Shimrang said this constant change of members in the CFMG has resulted in the habit of each new member interpreting the ground rules in his own way which effectively violates the “unwritten understanding” inherent in the Ceasefire Ground Rules. Despite allegations heaped on the NSCN (IM), the CFMC convener accused the centre itself of violating the first clause of the rules which declared that there would be no loss of property. He said that in the last four to five years, the NSCN (IM) had lost more than 200 arms and other “property” when the Assam Rifles got some of its cadres booked under NSA. But the Assam Rifles is said to have admitted to possess only 10 of the seized arms so far.
No CF meeting, under KumawatAdmitting that the political negotiations were “becoming slow” and ceasefire meetings being “dragged on”, Shimrang said that the center’s constant reply to any grievance of the NSCN (IM) was that they would “look into it”. Exemplifying the point with the center’s earlier statement that the Vihokhu camp was illegal and not recognized, Shimrang said nothing had been done about it. Moreover, every time the matter was brought up, it brought forth the same reply to “look into it.” As a result of the GoI’s inability to give any assurance, the CFMG meeting had become a “casual affair” said Shimrang, adding this attitude was found insulting to the Naga people. Shimrang also lashed out at the district coordination group for their decision in its recent meeting to implement ceasefire ground rules without involving the NSCN (IM). “Ground rules created by two parties to be implemented by them will not work with the decision of only one group” he said claiming that the NSCN (IM) was “restraining” itself “because of repeated appeals from the public” despite knowing every nook and corner of the other group’s position. “If we start fighting, will they be able to handle it? Will the state government, government of India or administration?” questioned Shimrang cautioning the government agencies not to think that they could do it alone.Shimrang made it clear that the ceasefire of NSCN (IM) was with the Centre and not the state government and it is the Centre that should direct the state government ‘of how to handle the matter.’ But instead, the NSCN (IM) functionary said, there was a trend of the centre blaming the state and vise versa. However, Shimrang added that the NSCN (IM) ceasefire was not a law and order issued but a political one and the matter had to be handled politically. Accusing the GoI of instigating a proxy war among the Nagas, Shimrang called upon the people to look deeper into the factional clashes taking place and find out who is creating the situation. He said that the GoI was trying to create confusion and division among the Nagas by using “our own people” for which he expressed pain. And against such a scenario, Shimrang said that the most dangerous mistake would be to generalize or stereotype a community since every community has good, sensible as well as bad people. “We should not fall prey to this dangerous trend” he cautioned the Nagas.
(Courtesy: Morung Express)