Towards the Govt-Naga peace accord: Everything you need to know

Here is the story of the long-running Naga insurgency — and the peace moves that picked up pace with the efforts of Prime Ministers from P V Narasimha Rao to Narendra Modi.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Updated: August 4, 2015 4:03 pm
nagaland, NSCN(IM), nagaland peace accord, naga insurgent group, Narendra Modi, Nagaland, NSCN(IM) peace accord, Government accord NSCN(IM), Nagaland insurgency, Rajnath Singh, Modi peace accord, Modi NSCN(IM), Nation news, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSCN (IM) General Secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, NSA, Ajit Doval and others at the signing ceremony of historic peace accord between Government of India & NSCN, in New Delhi on Monday. (Source: PTI)

How old is the Naga political issue?

The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”. In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which, under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947. The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.

When did the armed movement begin?

On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA). The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

greaterWhen did the peace efforts start?

Almost simultaneously with the resistance. On June 29, 1947, Assam Governor Sir Akbar Hyderi signed a 9-point agreement with moderates T Sakhrie and Aliba Imti, which was almost immediately rejected by Phizo. The Naga Hills, a district of Assam, was upgraded to a state in 1963, by also adding the Tuensang Tract that was then part of NEFA. In April the next year, Jai Prakash Narain, Assam Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott formed a Peace Mission, and got the government and NNC to sign an agreement to suspend operations that September. But the NNC/NFG/NFA continued to indulge in violence, and after six rounds of talks, the Peace Mission was abandoned in 1967, and a massive counter-insurgency operation launched.

When did the NSCN come into being?

On November 11, 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord, under which this section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms. A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980. Muivah also had Isak Chisi Swu and S S Khaplang with him. In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash. While the NNC began to fade away, and Phizo died in London in 1991, the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the “mother of all insurgencies” in the region.

What did the NSCN (IM) want?

A “Greater Nagalim” comprising “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar. The map of “Greater Nagalim” has about 1,20,000 sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km. The claims have always kept Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh wary of a peace settlement that might affect their territories. The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand — “Integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella” — as many as five times: in December 1964, August 1970, September 1994, December 2003 and as recently as on July 27, 2015.

When did NSCN (IM) join peace talks?

Muivah, Swu and other top NSCN (IM) leaders escaped to Thailand in the early 1990s. While Nagaland Governor M M Thomas, a Church leader from Kerala, extracted the first positive response from the NSCN(IM), Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao met Muivah, Swu and others in Paris on June 15, 1995. In November 1995, then MoS (Home) Rajesh Pilot met them in Bangkok. Subsequently, Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda met them in Zurich on February 3, 1997, which was followed by meetings with officers in Geneva and Bangkok. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee met them in Paris on September 30, 1998. The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997. Over 80 rounds of talks between the two sides were held subsequently.

How did Prime Minister Modi travel the last mile?

For the NSCN (IM), the Modi government continues from where Vajpayee left. The RSS’s Northeast veteran P B Acharya is currently Nagaland Governor, and Joint Intelligence Committee chairman R N Ravi, with his IB background, is an old Northeast hand. The state’s political scenario has changed, with T R Zeliang’s Naga People’s Front, an NDA ally, persuading all groups in the Assembly, including the Congress, to become partners in an all-party government.

How have Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh reacted?

Leaders cutting across party lines have preferred to wait and watch. Nobody in these three states would allow even an inch of their land to be added to a ‘Greater Nagalim’, if at all that term is part of the accord.

What about S S Khaplang?

In March this year, he abrogated the ceasefire he had signed in 2001, and is sure to oppose the accord. Security forces have been already alerted across Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

ROAD TO PEACE

AUG 1947: Naga National Council led by Angami Zapu Phizo revolts, NNC subsequently resolves to establish a sovereign Naga state

MAY 1951: After ‘referendum’ NNC claims 99% of Naga people support independence. NNC boycotts first general election of 1952, launches violent secessionist movement

MAR 22, 1956: Phizo creates underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and a Naga Federal Army (NFA)

APR 1956: New Delhi sends Army to crush insurgency in the (then) Naga Hills District of Assam; Phizo escapes to (then) East Pakistan in December and, subsequently, in June 1960, to London

1958: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enacted for Naga Hills District

DEC 1, 1963: Nagaland attains statehood

1964: Peace Mission of Jai Prakash Narayan, B P Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott to Nagaland, an Agreement for Suspension of Operation is signed with insurgents

NOV 11, 1975: Shillong Accord signed between Centre and NNC

1980: Thuingaleng Muivah, Isak Chisi Swu, S S Khaplang form NSCN

1988: NSCN splits, Khole Konyak and Khaplang form NSCN (K)

JUNE 15, 1995: P V Narasimha Rao meets Muivah and Isak in Paris

FEB 3, 1997: Deve Gowda meets NSCN (IM) leadership in Zurich

JULY 25, 1997: India and NSCN (IM) sign ceasefire agreement, which comes into effect on Aug 1

SEP 30, 1998: Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Brajesh Mishra meet NSCN (IM) leaders in Paris

JAN 9-11, 2003: Muivah and Isak hold talks with Vajpayee and Advani in Delhi

DEC 7, 2004: NSCN (IM) leaders meet Manmohan Singh

JULY 31, 2007: Ceasefire between NSCN (IM) and Government of India extended indefinitely

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First Published on: August 4, 2015 2:10 am
  1. T
    THUMNAO THUMNAO
    Feb 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    @Rose don't try to even try to mention NAGA'S you are just wasting your time you really don't know your mother and father name.
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    1. T
      THUMNAO THUMNAO
      Feb 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm
      @Rose don't even try to mention NAGA'S you are just wasting your time you really don't know your mother and father name.
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      1. A
        Aziiho Kisaimai
        Mar 15, 2016 at 8:52 am
        why should we troubled ourself to dig again whats olridy being dig!!!!!!!!! as long as we can remember and learned and proved it is our history... and today its olready being singed....... should be happy,,,,,,,, credit goes to Isak Swu And Th. Muivah`s Leadership. We should be gratefull to them for their selfless work and dedication/acheivement...... It may sounds crazy for u if i say that they have olready acheived what hey deserved. time come for us to decide our leaders, for they are our future. if nagas are not wise enoough to think rigid, the real cruel colonised activist are advancing soon the peace accord had being signed. remeber there are lots of those retired politician leaders wish if they could have another oppurtunity to rule or handle nagaland inspite they faced the trouble at their time......... why should they wish to be at this crucial time???????????
        Reply
        1. M
          mathiujian
          Mar 1, 2016 at 6:45 am
          NAGA people have the rights to have a 'greater Nagalim' because we have been suffering for a year's.when indian people live under the British people this indian people have no right no freedom, it is like a servant of British people so even NAGA don't want live under india.
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          1. N
            nokshom konyak
            May 28, 2016 at 12:50 pm
            Do u know the little details history about Konyak. God created beautiful land mountain river and living things etc etc. There was king of the king nation of the nation around the world. However, presently Konyak Naga who lived north eastern part of India and western part of Myanmar divided in to two nation sub-divided in to three states in India is hurt sentiment to the same origin people. Konyak was not under the So called British King Or Queen nor Administration. Britisher could not control the mighty King of Konyak it's called Angh" Konyak Angh's were powerful kingdom it had supper natural power. Today we the Konyak people have been divided in to different administration under Myanmar and India.
            Reply
            1. P
              penmi
              Apr 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm
              Rose u r totally wrong....about your made up theory. YOUR NEGATIVE ATUDE towards naga will never stop to resolve these issues. YES our naga ancestors in ancient time were Naked,this proved that Nagas r the one original settlers where we were dependent by ourselves without external force rule or occupant...Respected Modiji PM Knows what is good n bad...certainly he can do something good for better naga administration
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              1. C
                Chittur Sivaram Ganesan
                Aug 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm
                good thing. y/day the congress spokesman mr singhvi was saying that the peace initiation was done by late rajiv hi whereas u have not mentioned mr his name anywhere. was singhviji was just t want the credit for late rajiv hi to please madam soniaji
                Reply
                1. A
                  ah
                  Aug 4, 2015 at 10:47 am
                  Are the NAGA HINDUS? they don't look like ARYANS, they don't believe in Shiv Ling or Veds, so what will HINDU MAHASABHA do? they can't be Barhmans as they are not ARYANS and Hindu Mahasabha will get a spear up it's a s s if they called them SUDRA. SO what will happen to 100% Hindu India? ...... LOL
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    Konyak
                    Aug 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm
                    Just please say , where are u now ?
                    Reply
                    1. L
                      Linzhi
                      Aug 4, 2015 at 11:35 am
                      This PM believes in dramatising everything with the sole objectives of gaining self glory. These are routine government agreements/accords happened even in the past. The previous government's work is now just concluded. What is the achievement of Modi in this? When will this person stop claiming credit for the work done by others and do something on his own?
                      Reply
                      1. L
                        Linzhi
                        Aug 4, 2015 at 11:36 am
                        This PM believes in dramatising everything with the sole objectives of gaining self glory. These are routine government agreements/accords happened even in the past. The previous government's work is now just concluded. What is the achievement of Modi in this? When will this person stop claiming credit for the work done by others and do something on his own?
                        Reply
                        1. L
                          Linzhi
                          Aug 4, 2015 at 11:37 am
                          This PM believes in dramatising everything with the sole objectives of gaining self glory. These are routine government agreements/accords happened even in the past. The previous government's work is now just concluded. What is the achievement of Modi in this? When will this person stop claiming credit for the work done by others and do something on his own?
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            Pamshang Khapudang
                            Aug 4, 2015 at 4:02 pm
                            Nagas history always proved to be true and the Truth will always prevail no matter who comes and goes. It takes so long due to selfish atude of some Indian political leaders. Today, newly elected PM modi has acknowledge and signed peace accord with Nagas which adds the progress on Nagas demand. The neighbouring state political leaders who are opposing should be penalised for suppression on Nagas rightful demand. It was British not Indian who overpowered Nagas. So now as the British has left, Nagas have every right to decide for their future. In the history of Nagas, Mahatma hi, Vajpayee and now Modi have gain great respect and will never be forgotten.
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                              Athoupa Mangang
                              Aug 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm
                              I support naga peace Accord ,becoz they suffered lots. But do not invite another blood sheds in the north east claiming greater nagaland . Pertucllarly Manipur state was not created by India as created Nagaland . Manipur merged to India with boundaries and its people . Centre can't take unilateral decision .
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                              1. N
                                nishikanta
                                Aug 10, 2015 at 7:30 am
                                Peace is welcome anywhere, anytime in the world likewise in India or nagaland. It is not right to conclude peace making another fresh problem because of that. While concluding Naga accord always consider the regional history of North East India especially am and Manipur. The honourable PM may sanctioned any political or economic package for the people of Nagaland be it autonomy or independent but one should always remember that Manipur joined India in 1947 with such an agreement called Manipur merger Agreement 1947 act by expanding Indian territory by 22327 sq km which is the unique geographical area of Manipur.
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                                1. R
                                  Rose
                                  Aug 5, 2015 at 12:28 am
                                  I really salute to our respected Prime Minister Modi jee for bringing the Naga in track of civilization within Indian consuents. The history of Naga reveals after British came to am (India). Before the British annexed am in 1826, there were only two princely state in entire North East they were "am and Manipur". They had their written history and royal chronicles since beginning. I guaranteed there was no so called term Naga before that time, even this term was not there at all in any books. If you found any written history about so called Naga before British came to India (am) pliz named it. After the British annexed am in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills was land marked by British based on their close similarity in cultures and languages in the different tribes, to became a part of British India. But, so called the term Naga or Naga Hills that you claimed today was not there in the history of the part of anywhere, before British annexed am. However, in the history of Manipur these so called Naga Hills and Naga were under the king of Manipur and am, sharing the parts Naga hills and peoples. The so called Naga tribes were known and recorded differently such as Angami, Sema, Konyak, Ao, Lotha, Chakhesang, Tangkhul, Paomei, Zemei, etc..... but not as NAGA, in the land of the law of his Majesty of Manipur, who was only known as princely state and the only owner of this reason (in the written map of Manipur). How could it possible in human civilization that a community that did not know having even cook foods on the disk, could understand about the governance of a country with standard boundary and sovereignty? Luckily, British named it everything for you in order to govern the eastern sectors under their command, using "Divide and Rule" as a weapon, to cross Burma as their target route. However, mainland people of Indian citizen hardly known about the ancient history of am and Manipur. His Majesty of the King of Manipur were the one who fought British again and again, and even defeated British many times, though the Britishers annexed am. For example, the king of Manipur defeated British then captured and arrested British army who were coming from Bangladesh (who enrolled in Gurkha Regiment), later become a citizen of Manipur named as "Pangal" = "Muslim". Before this time, the capital city of Nagaland which known today as "KOHIMA" was named as "THIBOMEI" by the king of Manipur. The Thibomei was one of the por police station of Manipur King, later on given to British on behalf of maintaining peace in princely state Manipur. This station "Thibomei' gave to British by the king of Manipur on their begging request, in which British begged for a piece of land which could be covered by 'one meter long leader belt', then British shown a leader belt of one meter long which could extent maximum after boiling in the water. They boiled it and cut it into pieces then occupied the land which soever covered, as their first police station on behalf of the administration of the king of Manipur. After that they started discovering the people of Naga, then named as Naga, which means "Nanga" means 'naked (people)'. The people of Naga must salute to the king of am and Manipur, becoz his majesty of Manipur was the one who taught Naga to have food on the disk pulling out from head hunting cultures, Jungles lives and their naked world civilization to the recent one. In other case, if there was no British in India (am and Manipur): Who will know you as Naga today or who will named you as Naga that time? Dont try to write history of Naga in late era of Indian civilization as sovereign country. If you want to write comments on this pliz refer the name of the books which has mentioned about Naga as a sovereign country before 1926 (dated before 1920 edition or publication). In case of the history of am and Manipur, you can fine the books called "The Royal Chronicles of Manipur or The History of am" which are recording their cultures and boundary for about 2000 years as written history and civilization. You guys need to educate and then understand Indian consution first before you ask or dreaming for Greater Nagalim. Its enough to ransom, loot, and disturb the entire North Eastern States and its people.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sanjay Bhattacharya
                                    Aug 4, 2015 at 9:33 am
                                    Modi has a wonderful brain which can think of solution when others find frustration. He solved the border issue with Bangladesh which all previous Govts failed. He built a friendly environment in neighborhood when Manmohan Singh brought down relationship to such a low level with Srilanka and Nepal that evreyday Indian fishermen were being caught and some even were given death sentences. Modi rescued the relationship. Our relation with Nepal was so bad that people in Nepal were prohibited from viewing Indian TV channels. Modi is a wonderful PM with skill and a heart full of patriotism which is so different from Congress party which is led by an European.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      sbatra
                                      Aug 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm
                                      Someone needs to finish everything done in the past. If Modi is able to effectively do that as in the case of Bangladesh Border Settlement, it should be welcomed.
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                                        anilkumar
                                        Aug 6, 2015 at 11:21 am
                                        Mr zimik better to counter ms rose with facts & datas rather than use unfair & foul words.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Raj
                                          Aug 4, 2015 at 10:16 am
                                          Sanjay, BJP opposed the Bangladesh pact when they are in opposition and implemented the same without changing anything. They did this for political reason. Also even now srilanka killing or capturing fisherman on regular basis. Nothing changed on that front. Don't paint wrong picture just to praise him. We need to see the details of accord before come to the conclusion
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                                          1. T
                                            T P
                                            Aug 4, 2015 at 10:23 am
                                            Peace talk in North Eastern States should delicately handled with a clear vision of mainstreaming people of this region. If it is not properly handle it will be counterproductive. L K Advani had committed severe mistake of settling the present issue without consulting people of the north east.
                                            Reply
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