ITANAGAR: Amidst an atmosphere of uncertainty over the future of the Indo-Naga peace process, influential Naga civil society organisations last week criticised the ‘delay’ in the implementation of the Framework Agreement more than two years since it was signed.

The Naga Peace Accord, a framework agreement between the Government of India and the Isak-Chishi faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) to help find a peaceful solution to the issue ‘independence’ of areas traditionally populated by Naga tribes, was signed in August 2015. Three years have passed since the signing but the details of the accord and the time of its implementation remain unclear as general elections approach next year.

In the past two months, there have been renewed protests in Manipur where fears abound that large parts of the hill areas where Naga tribes have traditionally lived may be ceded to form a ‘Greater Nagalim’.

While the Centre has never officially acknowledged that territories that are part of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Manipur will be ceded, suspicions remain.

In Manipur there has been vocal opposition by several organisations such as the AMUCO (All Manipur United Clubs Organisation), CCSK (Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak) and UCM (United Committee Manipur), which had staged a protest in July over the Indian government’s interlocutor RN Ravi’s alleged statement of offering special status to Naga areas.

The declaration that was made by United Naga Council and the Naga Hoho on August 23, had “expressed discontentment for inordinate delay in finalising the Historic Indo-Naga Framework Agreement”.

It warned that "Naga elected representative, political leader, political party, unmandated or unauthorised Naga individual or group shall not attend or participate in any assembly(s) or meeting that will sabotage the Indo-Naga peace process" and that "anyone defying the Naga political principle and its position shall be treated as anti-national and their entry shall be banned in Naga territory".

Incidentally, the declaration was made during a meeting in Senapati district in Manipur but the declaration itself referred to the area as “South Nagalim” (Nagalim is the word used by Naga groups to refer to the idea of a Greater Nagaland).

The NSCN recently said that “the Nagas will never surrender their rights” and that the “Naga National Movement spearheaded by the NSCN is a people’s movement”.

Opposition in Manipur is set to continue next month, with the United Committee Manipur on Monday sounding the bell for a renewed set of protests beginning September 1.