NSCN (IM) rebels.

The NSCN (I-M) on Tuesday said the Union Home Ministry is not the authorised platform to make any official statement on Naga political solution at this “critical stage”.

The NSCN (-M) and the government of India are holding talks for more than 23 years to hammer out a solution to the Naga political issue.

“Crucial outcome of the Indo-Naga political talks are to be made with the consent of the two parties with the full knowledge and blessing of the Prime Minister,” the outfit said in a statement.

The NSCN (I-M) said during the official declaration of the Indo-Naga ceasefire on August 1, 1997, it was agreed that the political dialogue will be at the Prime Minister’s level, without pre-condition and outside in a third country.

“Significantly, somebody other than the Prime Minister of India making a critical statement on a crucially important issue like the Naga national flag is like wrecking the Indo-Naga ceasefire agreement at the wrong time because the agreement on this particular issue is deeply linked to signing the agreement for Naga political solution,” it said.

The NSCN (I-M) issued the statement after Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly told Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio at a meeting in New Delhi that he is against granting a separate Naga flag and constitution to the Nagas.

At the same time, Shah also told Rio that he is willing to hoist the Naga flag on Naga Day if invited for the occasion, it said.

This is nothing less than a terrible sense of humorous insult to the Naga people, the outfit said.

It said it would be a pleasure for the Nagas to welcome anyone to hoist and fly the Naga flag in Naga soil but not in the manner to belittle the Naga political issue.

“How can somebody in a high position have the temerity of playing drama and tamasha on such sentimental issues that are inseparable for Naga political solution,” it asked.

The outfit said the elusive Naga political issue cannot be undermined by giving the Union Home Minister a freewheeling power to make a meaningless statement bereft of the political drive towards Naga political solution.

“Nagas are never going to tolerate this kind of irresponsible and hollow utterance emanating from Mr. Amit Shah,” the NSCN (I-M) said.

It added that the Naga people need not be perturbed by the unilateral statement of Shah when no bilateral decision has come about yet.

The outfit also said it is highly a preposterous idea for the Government of India to disallow the Naga flag to be used in government offices and establishments but only to be used as a merry-making item in cultural functions.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com