NSCN-IM chief Thuingaleng Muivah. (File image)

Amid row over providing Z Plus security cover to the NSCN (IM) leadership by the Centre, the Naga rebel outfit has justified the move.

The proscribed outfit in a statement on Monday said that by providing Z Plus security to the NSCN leadership, the Centre has shown its seriousness to carry forward the Naga political talk.

“Anyone who tried to draw unparallel comparison is simply going superfluous,” the NSCN (IM) said in the statement.

The outfit said the Central government, after realizing the futility of seeking a military solution to the Naga political movement came looking for NSCN Collective Leadership who was based abroad at that time.

“It was the Prime Minister PV Narashimha Rao who came all the way to Paris (France) in 1995 to meet NSCN chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Th Muivah. The NSCN, however, put the condition to start political negotiation if the Government of India recognizes Naga issue as political and stopped terming it as India’s “Internal Law and Order Issue,” it said.

“Ultimately, a ceasefire was officially declared on August 1, 1997, as NSCN was convinced of the change of policy of the GoI towards the Naga issue,” the NSCN (IM) added.

The outfit said Indo-Naga political talks changed for the better with the signing of the Amsterdam Joint Communiqué on July 11, 2020, giving official recognition to the “Unique history and situation of the Nagas”.

“This was considered as the first realistic step forward in the political negotiation. To push the talk faster with closer interaction, the Government of India invited NSCN leaders to come to New Delhi giving full commitment to take care of their security concerns. Accepting the invitation NSCN chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Th. Muivah came to New Delhi in December 2002.

“Prior to this, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on November 18, 2002, in Milan (Italy) to formalize their travel to New Delhi free from security risk,” the NSCN (IM) added.

It said once the NSCN leadership reached New Delhi they were provided Z plus category security arrangement with IB quarter as their official residence.

They were extended this high profile security arrangement given the fact that they carry the Naga political mandate and they hold the Naga issue, and that the GoI has signed a ceasefire with NSCN to pave the way for a solution, said the outfit.

“Thus, everything was done on GoI’s initiative and not something asked by NSCN. This also reflects the seriousness of the GoI towards NSCN leadership and the issue they represent,” it said.

According to the outfit, the Government of India knows too well who carried the Naga political issue and who are the group that necessitates giving high profile security cover.

“No group can mislead the Naga people on Naga issue. Who is doing what to defend the political identity of the Naga struggle is already laid bare before the people. What is delaying the peace process needs no further elaboration,” it further added.

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