Naga peace pact: Customs, land holding to be respected across North East, says Nagaland CM T R Zeliang

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New Delhi | Updated: August 10, 2015 8:10:33 AM

Shedding light on details of the Naga peace pact which have been kept under wraps, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang said it is in line with the demand of Nagas.

Shedding light on details of the Naga peace pact which have been kept under wraps, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang said it is in line with the demand of Nagas for autonomy to protect their customs and land holding systems in all areas inhabited by the tribe in the North-East.

Highlighting the key aspects of the August 3 pact between the Centre and the rebel group NSCN-IM, which he termed as a  “formula” for a final agreement, Zeliang said Naga customary system and land holding system will be respected by the Centre based on the “unique history of Nagas” and it will be applied in all Naga inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

“The Naga issue does not pertain to only Nagaland. Naga problem is covering the entire Naga  contiguous region. So, when we say it would respect the traditional land holding system, customary system, it would cover the entire Naga (community) wherever they are…,” he said.

The NSCN-IM, which had given up its original demand of sovereignty a few years ago, has been asking for integration of Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

All three states are opposed to the outfit’s demand.

Zeliang said when he would meet his counterparts in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, he would tell them that Naga people were asking government of India that their right to uphold their customary system be strengthened “in their own land”.

“Whether in Assam, or Arunachal or Manipur, Naga people are living in their own land and they want some kind of autonomy or more power to strengthen their rights and their customary system.

“I think non-Nagas should not have any negative thinking about this,” he said.

The Chief Minister said even Bodo issue was resolved and he was very happy when Mizo accord was signed.

“Today we are resolving Naga problem. It is not going to affect any other community, who are not Nagas. Solving the Naga problem is solving the problems of the North East,” he said.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had said yesterday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised him that he would consult northeastern states in finalisation of the details of the peace accord signed with NSCN(IM) last week.

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