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NNC group wary of accord

Kohima, Nov. 9: The anti-Shillong Accord group of the Naga National Council has expressed apprehension about the impending accord between the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

The 1975 Shillong Accord was signed by the NNC, unconditionally accepting the Constitution in return for the release of hundreds of its members lodged in different jails in the country.

Swu, Muivah and S.S. Khaplang then formed the NSCN, rejecting the Shillong Accord.

A senior member of the NNC (non-Accordist) Gen. (retd) T.M. Keyho said accepting the Constitution would never be an honourable and acceptable solution to the Naga people.

Keyho, a close friend of Muivah since the 1960s, said there could be no honourable and acceptable political solution for the Nagas without recognition of Naga sovereignty to a certain extent.

“We have no choice but to work out such a solution by first restoring mutual trust and goodwill among all Nagas,” the NNC leader told the closed-door consultative meeting of the Angami Public Organisation last evening here.

Keyho also went to China in 1968, along with Muivah, to get arms and assistance from Beijing. He is still close to his old comrade Muivah but had refused to join the NSCN despite being offered a top post in the group.

The NNC leader asked the people not to be confused and that 80 per cent sovereignty can never exist under the Constitution. He demanded a separate constitution for Nagaland (Nagalim).

He spoke of the Pacific island of Niue and New Zealand. Nieu has its own flag, passport, national anthem, constitution and two currencies, whereas New Zealand exercises only the responsibility of external affairs and defence at the request of the government of Niue.

He has suggested a similar arrangement between the Centre and NSCN currently engaged in the talks.

“An arrangement of this nature in one form or the other is only considered honourable and acceptable,” he said.

Keyho said if an honourable political settlement, inclusive of all political groups, which is acceptable to the Naga people materialises, the 60 Naga legislators are ready and willing to vacate their chairs. “I appreciate them for this meaningful, selflessness and patriotic stand. However, they will need to go further beyond this point to further our legitimate political right,” he said.

He called for a united effort to resolve the Indo-Naga political problem. He warned that an agreement on the lines of the Shillong Accord would further create a division in Naga society, which would even lead to more bloodshed.

“The best contribution the Naga national workers can make at this crucial juncture is an agreement that cannot be questioned by anyone,” the NNC leader said.

He called for a consensus among top Naga rebel leaders to reach a final settlement with the Centre.

He said the Naga leaders could get together and decide what would be best for Nagas at this juncture, adding that a single Naga group holding consultations with Naga NGOs would not bring any permanent settlement.