The ongoing Naga peace talks have made good progress and the decade-long insurgency issue will be resolved to the greatest satisfaction of all, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today. Addressing the annual event of the Naga Students Union, Delhi (NSUD) here, Singh said the central government was confident that enduring peace in Naga areas is not far away.
“The initiative to resolve the Naga issue, for once and all, to the greatest satisfaction of Naga people has made good progress in the last two years,” he said.
A ‘Framework Agreement’ was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM general secretary T Muivah and the Centre’s interlocutor for Naga talks R N Ravi in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Minister.
The pact settled the political parameters of the final solution.
The signing of the agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed.
The Home Minister said the government is committed to ensure that Naga people have their rightful honour, dignity and pride of place, while blaming the colonial legacy for many of the problems faced by people of the Northeast.
“My dear friends, this city is yours. And it is the duty of the government to help you feel the ownership,” he said.
“In order to make you and other friends from the Northeast feel safe and secure in Delhi, I have created a Special Cell in Delhi Police headed by a Joint Police Commissioner from the Northeast to address your day-to-day security concerns.
“I have a Minister from North-East in the Home Ministry, Kiren Rijiju ji, who can understand your problems and relate with you better,” Singh said.
The Home Minister said many of the problems that the Northeast region faces today is rooted in the legacy of the colonial rule.
“The British rulers, for their commercial and political interests, created a divide between the hills and the plains people. They occupied all the lands along the foothills that connected the two people for tea, oil and coal industries. They broke the several thousand years of civilisational continuum of co-existence,” he said.
He said the British rulers also created “emotional distance” between the two by “fabricating and giving currency to mischievous myths” about each others.
“The government of India is committed to ensure that the Naga people have their rightful honour, dignity and pride of place. I know that India cannot be happy if our Naga brothers and sisters are unhappy. India cannot be great unless our Naga brothers and sisters share this sense of greatness,” he asserted.
The Home minister said the government is making Delhi Police increasingly sensitive toward the security needs of the people from the Northeast.
“Delhi Police has recruited over 450 smart young boys and girls from the Northeast in the last one year. We want to further increase the number. In the current recruitment drive of Delhi Police, over 6,000 young women and over 28,000 young men from the Northeast have applied,” he noted.
“If you have any suggestion that may strengthen your sense of security, feel free to bring it to my notice. I will do my best,” he assured the community.
Singh rued that Naga freedom fighters were not remembered often after Independence, while also lauding the contribution of the community in building of a modern nation.
“It is indeed unfortunate that after Independence, for long, we did not adequately appreciate and remember the countless Naga freedom fighters like Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu who gave up their lives for freedom fighting the British,” he said.
“Naga freedom fighters, veteran parliamentarians, outstanding administrators and intellectuals have made and are making remarkable contributions to building a modern India,” he said.
Appreciating the “rich and vibrant” Naga culture, he described NSUD as a glorious example of community support to the people from the region.