The Northeast states, including Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, enjoy a special status under the Constitution of India.
Guwahati: Nagaland governor R.N. Ravi on Tuesday put the ongoing speculation and fears over the implication of the Jammu and Kashmir move on Nagaland to rest.
Referring to the fears expressed by some people, Mr Ravi said in a statement: “I would like to categorically assure you all that you don’t have to worry at all. Article 371A is a solemn commitment to the people of Nagaland. It is a sacred commitment. We are trying hard to conclude the ongoing political process at a very advanced stage.” It is significant that Mr Ravi is also the interlocutor for the ongoing peace talks with the Naga groups.
The statement issued by the Kohima Raj Bhavan on Tuesday came close on the heels of a statement by the Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body of Nagas, and the Mizoram Opposition party, People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), voicing concern over the Centre’s scrapping of Article 370. The Northeast states, including Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, enjoy a special status under the Constitution of India.
Naga Hoho president Chuba Ozukum said: “We are concerned about the move to scrap Article 370.This is really undemocratic and undermining the minorities.” He said: “We have apprehensions that if the Government of India can scrap 370 in Jammu and Kashmir it can remove 371A in Nagaland. Now we have the peace process, it is going on, instead of removing 371A, the Government of India must bring a political settlement for the talks are on for the last 22 years.”
The Centre and the NSCN(I-M) are holding peace parleys. A formal ceasefire agreement between the government and the NSCN(I-M) was signed in 1997, after which several rounds of talks were held.
Mizoram’s anti-corruption watchdog-turned-political party People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram has also condemned the Centre’s decision to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, bifurcate J&K and take away its statehood status.
Urging the Mizo people to prepare for the worst from the NDA government, which is moving against the federal structure, the PRISM said: “The decision of the Centre showed the vulnerability of the Northeast states like Mizoram being given special safeguards in accordance with Article 371G of the Constitution, and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime,” the statement said. The Nagaland governor’s statement may thus come as solace for other Northeast states as well.