after India’s independence in 1947, Nagaland was declared an independent state he Naga issue finds its roots in the Colonial era when the Naga Hills became a part of British India. The year 1946 saw the creation of the Naga National Council (NNC) and under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo by the NNC.
Timeline of the 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 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. Over 80 rounds of talks between the two sides were held subsequently.
- After the Shillong Accord signed between NNC and Government of India in 1975 where NNC agreed to give up arms and the Ceasefire agreement between NSCN (IM) and the Centre in 1997, the Modi 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.
Greater Nagalim is the area claimed by NSCN(IM), as comprising all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar. The map of Greater Nagalim has about 1,20,000 sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km. The claims have always kept Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh wary of a peace settlement that might affect their territories. The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand, integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella, as many as five times.