Reacting to the demand of a Territorial Council by Kuki Militants in Nagaland, the United Naga Council (UNC) Tuesday stressed that they have no objection, however, it should not affect the Naga ancestral territory. The Council warned that they will never compromise or barter even an inch of their ancestral land.
The demand of Territorial Council (TC) comes as the militant groups engage in a political dialogue with the Centre and the state government.
Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United Peoples’ Front (UPF) signed the tripartite suspension of operation (SoO) agreement with the government of India and Manipur on August 22, 2008. Of the total 25 armed Kuki groups operating in the state, 17 are under KNO and eight under the UPF. The militant groups started their armed movement demanding a separate state for the Kukis but later came down to the Territorial Council. The outline of the council was submitted to the interlocutor during their 6th round of talks held in January this year.
The apex Naga body informed that the demand of the UPF and KNO has been ‘seriously’ deliberated during its presidential council held on July 5. It said that the UNC has no objection to the demand of Territorial Council but the same should not affect the Naga ancestral territory under any circumstances.
Asserting that political position of the Naga people on land, identity, history and rights is well established, it said that many lives and resources have been involved while defending, safeguarding and upholding the political rights till today.
“The traditional boundary of the Naga tribal people is well demarcated and documented. It is only in the recent past that other communities intruded into our ancestral homeland. They were allowed to settle down in our land only after fulfilling the conditions made between them and Naga village chiefs”, it said.
The UNC urged the Centre to honour the well established political position of the Naga people on land, identity, history and rights and to exercise her prerogatives cautiously.