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Students seek early resolution of Naga issue
CORRESPONDENT
 DIMAPUR, Oct 16 - The cry for a permanent solution of the decades-old Naga issue grew shriller in Nagaland with various organisations calling for an early settlement.

The All Nagaland College Students’ Union today appealed to the Central Government, through Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, for an early settlement of the long-standing Naga political issue encompassing the “sovereign rights of the Nagas”.

In a memorandum submitted to Ravi, the union said it aspired that the settlement should be honourable and acceptable to the Nagas.

“It is an earnest appeal to the Government of India to recognise and acknowledge the unique political rights of the Nagas,” the union said.

The memorandum added that the union had the firm belief that a great nation like India would not deviate from its commitment to resolve the Naga issue.

It alleged that the Government of India over the years has deliberately not prioritised the Naga political issue.

Drawing Ravi’s attention to the aspiration of the college students of Nagaland, the union said the “decades-long Naga political issue has put doubts and fears in the minds of the Nagas”, but after he was assigned the responsibility to address the issue as the interlocutor and now as the Governor, the hopes of the Nagas for an early settlement have revived once again.

On Tuesday, the Nagaland Tribes Council appealed to all the negotiators, particularly the Naga negotiators, to “contain any amount of irritations at the moment” for the sake of paving the way for a solution and not be reactionary as it would boomerang on the Nagas.

Council president Toniho Yepthomi and general secretary Nribemo Ngullie said the council had high hopes that years of political negotiations between the Government of India and the Naga negotiators were about to bring the Naga issue to a logical solution.

It reiterated its appeal to all the negotiators to be magnanimous and bold enough to hammer out a positive result without hesitation or delay within the “scheduled time”.

At a public function in Kohima in August, Ravi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants resolution of the Naga issue within three months.

The council reiterated its stand that “when land integration is not possible at the moment, we cannot opt for population integration”. According to it, there will be demographic changes “as and when Nagas attain sovereignty and integration” and until then, the State of Nagaland would remain as it is, rather than ceasing to exist.

The last two rounds of formal talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM in New Delhi ended in a deadlock over the latter’s demand for inclusion of the Naga flag and constitution in the final settlement. Both the sides have reportedly refused to budge from their respective stands on the two demands resulting in the deadlock.

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