United Naga tribes asserts to restore cultural and historical territories
DIMAPUR: The United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) met with the NSCN (IM) Ato Kilonser, Th Muivah on March 1 in New Delhi apprising him on the need to "restore the traditional and historical Naga lands presently under the clandestine occupation of Assam."
A press note from the UNTABA urged the NSCN (IM) to "base the political negotiation on the traditional and historical boundaries particularly in relation to Inter-State boundary between Assam and Nagaland."
The UNTABA stated that NSCN (IM), Ato Kilonser, "patiently listened to the strong viewpoints put forward by the team and assured that the unambiguous histories of the Naga people shall be protected and for which the government of India have recognized the unique history and situation of the Naga people."
A closed door discussion with the NSCN (IM) collective leadership was also held "on the seriousness of the issue keeping in mind the expectant outcome of the ongoing political negotiation."
Meanwhile, the team also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, through the Interlocutor to the Indo-Naga peace talks, RN Ravi at his Office Chamber at New Delhi and had a discussion on the "lack of commitments by the Government of India in failing to recognize the inherent rights of the Naga people over its land." Ravi reportedly assured that he would "seriously dwell on the issue in the ongoing Indo-Naga political negotiation."
The team then met MP from Nagaland State to the Lok Sabha, Nephiu Rio at his official residence and appraised him on the importance of the issue at hand.
The memo to the PM demanded fulfilment of political agreements of point numbers 4 and 6 of the Nine Point Agreement and point numbers 12 and 13 of the Sixteen Point Agreement, along with the restoration of the "historical and traditional Naga territories."
The UNTABA lamented that the Government of India has yet to initiate appropriate steps towards the fulfillment of these Clauses of Agreements "thereby completely depriving the traditional, historical and political rights of the Naga people." It claimed that this has given "undue advantages to the Government of Assam in clandestinely occupying large track of Naga lands."
It further stated that the Government of Assam has "unilaterally abrogated all the existing Agreements and has been settling people of questionable origins in the Naga traditional territories sheltered by the neutral forces and calling it 'Disputed Area Belt'." The Naga people, it said, "disagree to its territories to be called Disputed Areas Belt." The UNTABA also accused the Assam Government of illegal exploitation of natural resources in these areas.
It expressed hope that the present government at the centre would "faithfully respond to its own terms of the Agreements and usher in final settlement of this vexed border problem."
The UNTABA asked the GoI to "act as per its own commitment and re-transfer and amalgamate all the Naga territories back to the State of Nagaland and fulfil the above mentioned clauses of Agreements in letter and spirit by invoking the Constitutional provisions of Articles 3 & 4."
Fulfilling these Agreements, the UNTABA claimed, would help speed up solution to the Indo-Naga issue and ameliorate the mistrust and animosity between the indigenous people of Assam and Nagaland."
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