The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) on Sunday took umbrage at the United Naga Council (UNC), Manipur and the Naga Hoho for issuing a “severe warning” to the Nagas and said this was “seriously questionable”.
The NTC, in a release, pointed out that the joint statement of the UNC and the Naga Hoho, which appeared in local dailies on August 24, cautioned any Naga elected representative, political leader, political party, ‘unmandated’ or ‘unauthorised’ Naga individual or group, not to attend or participate in any assembly or meeting that would sabotage the Indo-Naga peace. They further warned that anyone defying the Naga political principle and its position would be treated as anti-national and their entry into Naga territory would be banned, the release stated.
The NTC said the UNC-Naga Hoho joint statement was found to be more of intimidation and arrogance than of matured opinion befitting the prevailing situation and said it was unbecoming of both the organisations to take Nagas for granted.
The NTC asked both the organisations what was the considered parameter by which an act of an individual or an organisation could amount to “sabotage to peace process”.
It also sought to know what was meant by “unmandated” or “unauthorised” in relation to pursuance of Naga political issue. It further wanted to know which group or individual they believed was mandated and authorised and who are not.
The NTC further asked the UNC and the Naga Hoho to lucidly define the “Naga political principle” for the sake of clarity.
It also sought to know the parameter to deem any act as “defiance of Naga political principle”. Further, it demanded to know what mechanism was adopted to banish a defaulter (anti-national) and then enforce banning him or her from entry into Naga territory.
The NTC reminded that the people of Nagaland “sufficiently faced bombardments of intimidations and threats to individuals and organisations particularly from Naga national political groups in the past. It said these have made the people of Nagaland learn adequate lessons of how “self-destructive were fratricidal killings and inter-group confrontations”.
The NTC further pointed out that the UNC is only the exclusive umbrella organisation of Nagas of Manipur and therefore, has no jurisdiction over Nagas living outside Manipur state.
On Naga Hoho, the NTC said it was supposed to be the apex organisation of all Nagas, irrespective of territorial barriers but the Easter Nagaland Public Organisation is outside its purview. Moreover, even the Central Nagaland Tribes Council comprising major tribes have opted out of Naga Hoho while those that still remained with it appear to have distanced themselves from active participation under its present leadership, the NTC stated.
Considering the factual positions of UNC and Naga Hoho, the NTC said issuing “such questionable warning to Naga people in general” by the UNC (a mere unit of Naga Hoho) and the Naga Hoho, which was under severe test itself presently, is “wrongly timed”.
According to NTC, if there was any necessity for Nagas to bridge or sort out anything of common interest, there were enough rooms and opportunities for such exercises. It said the present concern was to work out a mechanism by which everyone is taken on board for inclusive solution.