Even as New Delhi strikes a peace deal with one of the most dominant insurgent groups of Northeast India – the NSCN (I-M) – there’s clamour for an autonomous council for a Naga tribe residing in Assam.
The Rengma Hoho, the apex body of Rengma Nagas, has demanded an autonomous council for the Naga tribe residing in Assam. It has urged the Centre’s interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi, and NSCN-IM leadership to formulate a structure whereby the council is provided for the welfare of the Rengmas residing in Assam. The Rengmas mostly inhabit Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
In a statement, the Rengma Hoho asserted that the Rengma Nagas were arbitrarily divided between Assam and Nagaland. It also alleged that those in Assam have been deprived of their basic human needs, and added that it was open to physical verification of Rengma lands.
Meanwhile, the Rengma Hoho also welcomed the framework agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM in August this year.
During a meeting recently, the Hoho also reviewed the framework agreement and termed it as a ‘positive step towards finding a solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political problem’.
Stating that the Rengmas share a major portion of the Naga problem, it asserted that the Naga tribe had contributed significantly to the Naga political struggle and pointed out that the first Naga flag was designed and woven by a Rengma woman and hoisted on Rengma soil.
The Rengma Hoho reiterated that the Rengmas were never confused over the Naga political issue as they always stood for a peaceful negotiated settlement. It suggested that if the ongoing talks between the Government of India and NSCN-IM ushered in mutual understanding and respect for each other’s rights, then it should be agreed upon by both parties to implement and protect it under the clause.
The Rengma Hoho was, however, of the opinion that in the event of any final solution, leaders of all Naga political groups, stakeholders and tribes should be taken into confidence. Finally, it made itself clear that prejudices and partisanship at the present juncture would not be good for the Nagas.