In news– The Centre has extended a ceasefire agreement with three Naga groups for a further period of one year (2023).
- The groups include National Socialist Council of Nagaland-NK (NSCN-NK), National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Reformation (NSCN-R) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-K-Khango (NSCN-K-Khango).
- All these groups are breakaway factions of NSCN-IM and NSCN-K and signed the ceasefire agreements with the government over the years.
- This is the first time that talks on the Naga issue were held inside the NSCN-IM headquarters.
- The government has been trying to engage with various Naga groups, and not just NSCN-IM, to finalise the Naga peace accord.
What is the Naga Peace Accord?
- The Nagaland Peace Accord is a peace treaty, signed, on 3 August 2015, between the Government of India, and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), to end the insurgency in the state of Nagaland in Northeast India.
- The Government’s interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, R. N. Ravi (Former special director of the Intelligence Bureau, A.K. Mishra replaced him) signed it on behalf of the Government of India, whereas Lt. Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman and Thuingaleng Muivah, General Secretary signed on behalf of the NSCN, in presence of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
- The agreement was signed after over 80 rounds of talks between the government and various stakeholders, but the exact details of the agreement haven’t been revealed.
Timeline of insurgency-
- The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
- The Naga National Council (NNC) resolved to establish a sovereign Naga state and conducted a referendum in 1951, in which 99% supported an independent Nagaland.
- On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA).
- The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
- The Naga Hills, a district of Assam, was upgraded to a state in 1963, by also adding the Tuensang Tract that was then part of NEFA.
- It was followed by a Peace Mission, which got the government and NNC to sign an agreement to suspend resistance operations. But the NNC/ NFG/ NFA continued to indulge in violence, and after six rounds of talks, the Peace Mission was abandoned in 1967, and a massive counter-insurgency operation launched.
- On November 11, 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord, under which this section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.
- A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980.
- While the NNC began to fade away, and Phizo died in London in 1991, the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the mother of all insurgencies in the region.
- The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997.
- The present government signed a framework agreement with the NSCN(IM) On 3 August 2015.
- In August 2017 another armed umbrella outfit Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) joined the peace talks with the Centre.
- While the NNPGs want a solution for Nagas within Nagaland, the NSCN (IM) seeks integration of Naga-inhabited areas beyond the geographical boundary of Nagaland.