Arunachal Pradesh has echoed Manipur in demanding to be kept out of any “territorial changes” that might be incorporated in the settlement of the Naga political problem.
The Central government has been discussing with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) as well as a rival conglomerate named Naga National Political Groups for a “final solution” by October 31, a deadline purportedly set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The proposed agreement between the Centre and the NSCN-IM should not affect Arunachal Pradesh and its people in any way. We strongly oppose any attempt to change the territorial jurisdiction of the State or any kind of administrative intervention in the State while reaching the final solution,” said Hawa Bagang, president of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU).
The union has demanded that Pema Khandu’s BJP government should make its stand on the vexed issue clear. It also asked the three MPs from Arunachal Pradesh, all its 60 legislators and political parties to come together for protecting the territorial integrity of the State.
The AAPSU’s message to Delhi is based on the NSCN-IM’s vision of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland that would entail redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
The NSCN-IM’s map of Nagalim spreads over 1,03,473 sq km beyond the 16,527 sq km area of Nagaland. It includes much of eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The outfit, as well as rival factions, claim that these areas, primarily Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts are dominated by Nagas.
Army and police officials say members of the NSCN-IM, its rival Khaplang, Reformation and Unification factions, have been terrorising and extorting locals in these districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Naga extremists are believed to be involved in the killing of Tirong Aboh, two days before he was elected to the Khonsa West Assembly seat, and 10 others.
Mr Aboh’s wife Chakat Aboh won the seat in the October 21 by-election as an independent supported by five parties, including the BJP and the Congress.