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Special package likely for Naga-inhabited areas in NE

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, July 27 � The Government of India is planning to offer a special development package for the Naga inhabited areas in the North East and will persuade militant outfit NSCN (I-M) to accept it. On the other hand, the militant outfit has coined a new term "shared sovereignty" and discussions are going on in this regard.

Highly placed official sources in New Delhi told The Assam Tribune that though talks with the NSCN (I-M) have been going on since 1997, it would take some more time before any formal agreement is signed.

Sources said that the Government of India rejected the demand for sovereignty by the militant outfit and the possibility of integration of the Naga inhabited areas has also been rejected as the concerned State Governments have strongly opposed it. The NSCN's demand for a separate flag and constitution have also been rejected by the Government of India.

Sources revealed that though some differences between the Government and the NSCN still persist, the talks are going on in the right direction and leaders of the militant outfit have started using Indian passport, which can be termed as a positive sign. Sources said that the NSCN leadership is now demanding "shared sovereignty" but the new term has not yet been described properly. In federal structure, the Centre has very little role to play on the subjects included in the state list and even that can be termed as shared sovereignty, sources pointed out.

Giving details of the Government's plan for a special package for development of the Naga inhabited areas, sources said that though the package is yet to be finalized, it is clear that the package would be implemented through the respective state governments. However, before announcing such a package, the Government of India will take the views of the respective state governments.

The NSCN leaders further demanded that no non-Naga should be allowed to acquire properties in the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and the issue is yet to be resolved.

As the traditional village councils are considered very powerful bodies in Nagaland, the Government of India is also planning to take the views of the councils under consideration before signing any formal agreement with the leaders of the NSCN.

Meanwhile, with the discussions between the Government and NSCN coming towards a logical conclusion, both sides have also started the process of discussing the issue of rehabilitation of the cadres of the outfit. The Government of India has made it clear that the NSCN cadres, who are eligible, can be appointed in the Central paramilitary forces. On the other hand, the NSCN leaders are more interested in creation of a separate battalion of Nagaland police with the members of the outfit and official sources said that the Centre would have no objection to opening of a new battalion of the state police force.

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Special package likely for Naga-inhabited areas in NE

GUWAHATI, July 27 � The Government of India is planning to offer a special development package for the Naga inhabited areas in the North East and will persuade militant outfit NSCN (I-M) to accept it. On the other hand, the militant outfit has coined a new term "shared sovereignty" and discussions are going on in this regard.

Highly placed official sources in New Delhi told The Assam Tribune that though talks with the NSCN (I-M) have been going on since 1997, it would take some more time before any formal agreement is signed.

Sources said that the Government of India rejected the demand for sovereignty by the militant outfit and the possibility of integration of the Naga inhabited areas has also been rejected as the concerned State Governments have strongly opposed it. The NSCN's demand for a separate flag and constitution have also been rejected by the Government of India.

Sources revealed that though some differences between the Government and the NSCN still persist, the talks are going on in the right direction and leaders of the militant outfit have started using Indian passport, which can be termed as a positive sign. Sources said that the NSCN leadership is now demanding "shared sovereignty" but the new term has not yet been described properly. In federal structure, the Centre has very little role to play on the subjects included in the state list and even that can be termed as shared sovereignty, sources pointed out.

Giving details of the Government's plan for a special package for development of the Naga inhabited areas, sources said that though the package is yet to be finalized, it is clear that the package would be implemented through the respective state governments. However, before announcing such a package, the Government of India will take the views of the respective state governments.

The NSCN leaders further demanded that no non-Naga should be allowed to acquire properties in the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and the issue is yet to be resolved.

As the traditional village councils are considered very powerful bodies in Nagaland, the Government of India is also planning to take the views of the councils under consideration before signing any formal agreement with the leaders of the NSCN.

Meanwhile, with the discussions between the Government and NSCN coming towards a logical conclusion, both sides have also started the process of discussing the issue of rehabilitation of the cadres of the outfit. The Government of India has made it clear that the NSCN cadres, who are eligible, can be appointed in the Central paramilitary forces. On the other hand, the NSCN leaders are more interested in creation of a separate battalion of Nagaland police with the members of the outfit and official sources said that the Centre would have no objection to opening of a new battalion of the state police force.

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