Set Back For Naga Peace Talks: Rebel Group NSCN-IM Supremo Reiterates Demand for Separate Flag, Constitution

Set Back For Naga Peace Talks: Rebel Group NSCN-IM Supremo Reiterates Demand for Separate Flag, Constitution National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) outfit and chief negotiator for NSCN-IM. Photo credit: BIJU BORO/AFP/GettyImages

In a setback for the prolonged Naga peace talks, the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM) supremo Thuingaleng Muivah on Friday (14 August) reiterated his demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution, reports Hindustan Times.

Aged 86-years-old, the secessionist leader delivered a strongly-worded speech yesterday, asserting that Nagas can co-exist with India, but will not merge with it. He said, "We are not asking Naga national flag and constitution from the government of India. Recognize them or not, we have our own flag and constitution. Flag and constitution are ingredients of our recognized sovereign entity and the symbols of Naga nationhood. The Nagas must keep their flag and constitution."

Muivah claimed that the 2015 Framework Agreement signed between the Government and the NSCN-IM had spoken of an inclusive peaceful coexistence of "the two entities sharing sovereign power."

Muivah led NSCN-IM is the largest of all Naga rebel groupings had has been in negotiations with the Government since 1997. It was only in 2015, that it signed a framework agreement with the Government in 2015 to serve as the basis for a final solution to the long and bloody history of Naga issue.

The latest and controversial assertion by Muivah comes at a time when another round of meetings is set to begin in New Delhi from next week.