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NPMHR presents Nagas' case at UN forum
Source: The Sangai Express

Dimapur, May 18 2016: The situation of Nagas was presented on May 17 at the 15th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2016 on "Indigenous Peoples; Conflict, Peace and Resolution" by Neingulo Krome, secretary general, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) at the United Nations Headquarters at New York.

Presenting a paper, Neingulo Krome said that after India became Independent and Nagas refused to join the new Indian Union and boycotted the first Indian general elections in 1952, Indian military troops were sent into the Naga Hills in 1953, to crush the Nagas.

According to the paper, as a consequence, entire villages were burnt down, granaries, crops, cattle and domestic animals were not even spared.

"Woman raped, tortured and murdered in full view of family members and villagers and so on.

The list is endless and dehumanizing.

…the political conflict of the Indigenous Nagas is known to be one of Asia's longest running conflicts," the paper mentioned.

Neingulo Krome then read out that Nagas are one of the indigenous people of Asia, who were independent and sovereign much like the ancient Greek city-states till British found them and invaded their land in 1832.Nagas fought back and resisted them till parts of their land were conquered and colonized in 1879 leaving a large area as un-administered and free from any kind of governance.

"So when the British Statutory Commission came to the then Naga Hills in 1929, the Nagas submitted their first written document, asking the British Government that the Naga Hills be withdrawn from the Reformed Scheme of India, in which the Naga Hills were included without their consent or knowledge, and to leave the Nagas alone to determine for themselves as in ancient times.

Very unfortunately, when the British left the sub-continent and India started militarily occupying the Naga country, the British Government never even blinked its eyes not to talk of speaking a word to set records right," the Naga rights activist said.

Neingulo Krome stated that from then and until now, there have been numerous conflicts, also peace agreements and several attempts for resolution of the conflicts.

But all of these have failed to meaningfully serve its purpose, but rather promoted other more and newer conflicts.

"For instance, there was the first ceasefire, which came into effect on September 6, 1964 and Peace negotiations were held between Naga leaders and the Government of India but which could not resolve the conflict with India eventually and unilaterally breaking off the Ceasefire," Neingulo Krome added.

According to Neingulo Krome, with resumptions of military operations on the Nagas, which saw more violence and destruction, pain and human sufferings and which came to the notice of the United Nations, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr.Boutros Boutros Ghali, acknowledged and said; "there is human rights situation in Nagaland".

"This revelation from the UN and other admissions made by a few Indian Army Generals, that the Naga problem cannot be solved militarily and must be solved politically, the 2nd Ceasefire came into effect on the 1st of August 1997," he added.

"It is almost 19 years now since the second ceasefire had taken place and numerous political negotiations have been going on without any concrete resolution.

But nevertheless there have been positive outcomes in the various stages of negotiations despite the many frustrations.

It was also only last year in August 3, 2015, that a Framework agreement was also signed and which the Prime Minister of India himself proudly announced to the international community in Dubai saying that a final Peace settlement with the Nagas issue is at hand.

But this also has not happened yet," Neingulo Krome said.

"We do not know when a resolution to our conflict will come which have been assured year after year.

But what we do know is, that India is infested with all kinds of social and political unrest wherever Indigenous peoples live," Krome stated.

He then claimed that many Indigenous people even in North East India are also asserting their rights and have been fighting for their rights.

"The Naga political movement has been often branded as the "mother of all insurgency in North East India" which is not necessarily correct because of the nature in which Governments deals with Indigenous people and their issues.


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