Kohima, Aug. 14: The Naga National Council (NNC) observed the 67th Naga Independence Day and called for early settlement of the Naga political problem.
During an event held today at Chedema, around 10km from here, Viyalie Metha, president of the NNC’s Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), said the Indo-Naga conflict was the longest international conflict in the modern world and should not drag on without an end. This would neither benefit Nagaland nor New Dehi.
“If India is truly willing to resolve the Indo-Naga conflict, it must be positive and open,” Metha said, adding that the FGN wanted peaceful resolution of the problem. Stating that precious time had been wasted by violence by “renegades”, he termed the proposed formation of a “national government” by Naga militant groups a “fantasy”. He said the FGN, formed on March 22, 1956, was the only mandated Naga government entrusted with the power and responsibility to administer the Naga national affairs. He said the failure of the Centre’s negotiations with other groups had proved that talks with “impostors” could not lead to a settlement.
NNC president Adinno Phizo said, “The conflict between Nagaland and India is not a political problem because it is neither a political blunder on the part of the Nagas nor has there been any territorial dispute at any time between Nagaland and India.”
Adinno said India invaded Nagaland in 1954 and though a ceasefire was signed with the Centre in 1964, the talks failed, as the former refused to accept the sovereignty of Nagaland.
Adinno said the Naga club had submitted a memorandum to the members of the Simon Commission way back in 1929 to let Nagas decide their own future.
On August 14, 1947, NNC founder A.Z. Phizo declared Naga independence but the government of India never accepted this. Again on May 16, 1951, the NNC conducted a plebiscite and 99.9 per cent of the population opted for a sovereign Nagaland. This, too, was rejected by New Delhi. Subsequently, the 1952 general elections were boycotted in the state.
After the 1964 ceasefire, the first Indo-Naga peace talks were held at the Chedema peace camp but nothing conclusive materialised.
The Nagaland state excise department, which has entered the 50th year of operation, totalled revenue receipts of Rs 4 crore in the 2012-13 fiscal and is expecting to generate Rs 5 crore this financial year.
The department, which checks and controls possession, consumption and manufacture of liquor in the state and prevents smuggling of excisable goods and narcotic substances, has two cells — a narcotics cell to deal with the drug trade and a mobile squad to deal with liquor control.