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    An armed cadre of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), left, walks past an elderly woman sitting outside a traditional Naga hut, during a visit by the NSCN-IM General-Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, at Viswema village, about 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Kohima, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland (File)

    Historic Win for Indian PM: Naga Insurgents Set to Sign Peace Accord Soon

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    Insurgent groups NSCN-K and NSCN-IM have been demanding a restructuring of the northeastern part of the Indian union so that a separate state for the Naga tribes called Greater Nagalim can be carved out. They also want a small territory of Myanmar to be included in the proposed state.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — In what could prove a major achievement of the Narendra Modi-led Indian government in restoring normalcy in the country's restive northeastern region, seven militant groups of the Naga tribes have agreed to sign a peace accord with the government in next few weeks.

    Sources told Sputnik that representatives of six Naga political groups and the NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah faction), who have been meeting with the government's interlocutor and other officials for the past month, have agreed on most of the issues and the peace accord could be signed at 'any time'.

    READ MORE: Nine Indian Security Personnel Killed in Blast Allegedly Triggered by Insurgents

    "The Nagaland government will be holding a broader consultation with Naga groups in Kohima this week, which could pave the way for a final settlement. We expect a single accord with all the groups any time," a government official told Sputnik.

    The indications of a peace accord had started coming in since the formation of the Naga Democratic People's Party-led government in Nagaland earlier this year. A major announcement was made on April 7 by India's Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, when he said that the NSCN (IM) had already dropped the word 'sovereignty' and other "serious issues" from their charter of demands.

    ​​Although negotiations between the militant groups and the Indian government had been going on for last two decade, in a move that surprised many, in 2015 the Narendra Modi government signed a framework agreement with NSCN-IM to find a solution to the Naga issue.

    The Naga groups led by NSCN-IM have been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland' wherein it wants to restructure the boundary of four northeastern states which have Naga population. The states like Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have more than 1.2 million Naga populations. The people from these states have been opposing any move of restructuring the boundary or giving any additional power to Naga people within the present borders of the state.

    "Government is aware of apprehensions expressed in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. These are speculative in nature. Adequate care is being taken to protect the interests of all stakeholders," Kiren Rijuju, India's Minister of State for Home Affairs said earlier this year responding to a news report which said that large chunks of territories of states like Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were to be included in the proposed Greater Nagalim under the agreement.

    READ MORE: India Braces Itself for Influx of Refugees, Seals Its Borders With Myanmar

    The Naga groups, which had started violent protests just after independence for the cause, have had ceasefire agreements with the government since 1997. However, with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Khaplang (NSCN-K) walking out from the dialogue process with the Indian government in 2015, the peace process got derailed. The Indian government termed NSCN-K as an extortion group which operates from Myanmar and has nothing to do with Naga issues and of started military action against the group.

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    Tags:
    peace accord, ethnic groups, insurgency, dialogue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kiren Rijiju, Nagaland, India, Myanmar
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