Resolving the Naga Issue : Daily Current Affairs

Relevance: GS-3: Internal Security challenges and management in border areas; Linkages of organised crime with terrorism.

Key Phrases: Naga Political Issue, Shillong Accord, Nine Point Agreement, The Greater Nagalim


  • There is an ongoing protest in Nagaland raising the demand for speedy settlement of the prolonged Naga Political Issue – peace and development, which was promised by the Prime Minister of India in the recent past. This makes it necessary to look into details of the Naga issue.

Historical Background

  • At the time of Independence, the governor of Assam signed the Nine-Point Agreement without taking into confidence main leaders of the movement.
  • The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
  • Later, signing of a 16-point Agreement in 1960 led to the creation of Nagaland.
  • In 1964, a Peace Mission was formed for an agreement on suspension of operations with the NNC (Naga National Council), but it was abandoned in 1967.
  • The government signed the Shillong Accord in 1975, under which this section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms. However, a faction within the group refused to accept the Accord.
  • The Centre’s peace talks with the Naga extremist groups concluded three years ago. But the issue has remained unresolved with the largest of the groups, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim or NSCN (I-M) insisting on a separate ‘Naga flag’ and ‘Naga constitution’ as part of the final settlement.
  • The Centre rejected the separate flag and Constitution, specifically after Article 370 was removed from Jammu and Kashmir.

Huge toll on the governance due to ongoing protest

  • The Governor of the state has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister mentioning that the unending political process not only adversely affected the lives of the people, but also took a huge toll on the entire system of governance.
  • An unimaginable cycle of corruption, crippling public healthcare, education and infrastructure developments, and produced countless anti-social elements. In the name of political issues, threats and intimidations have stifled the growth of a perceived Naga society.
  • Without a political settlement, there may be thousands of futureless and highly-qualified angry men and women taking up guns to challenge those stifling their growth and progress.

Demand of NSCN(IM)

  • The map of Greater Nagalim comprising “all Naga-inhabited areas” shows a 1,20,000 sq km sprawl across the Northeast and Myanmar. It covers -
    • A sizeable portion of Assam’s Tinsukia, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts;
    • All of Longding, Tirap, Changlang, Lohit and Namsai districts in Arunachal; and
    • Large parts of Manipur’s Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong districts.
  • The area of Nagaland state is only 16,527 sq km, a fraction of the NSCN(IM)’s “Greater Nagalim”.
  • Most leaders of the NSCN-IM are Manipur Nagas while those of the NNPGs are mostly Nagas from Nagaland.
  • The NNPGs are ready for settlement and they have already stated that the contentious issues could be pursued post-settlement.

Additional Information


  • The Armed Forces Special Power Act gives sweeping powers to the armed forces.
  • It allows them to open fire, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law or carrying arms and ammunition.
  • It gives them powers to arrest individuals without warrants, on the basis of “reasonable suspicion”, and search premises without warrants.
  • Recently, the Union Government has partially withdrawn the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from parts of three Northeast states— Assam, Nagaland and Manipur after the protests in the North Eastern States.

Framework Agreement 2015

  • An Agreement between the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) to finalize the Naga Peace Accord
  • It is now turning out to be the key stumbling block in reaching an agreement and finding a permanent solution to the longstanding Naga issue.
  • Bone of contention:
    • The vague wording of the Framework Agreement and
    • the Centre's belligerent stand on issues of separate constitution and flag for any region in the country


  • The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland is a Naga nationalist Christian paramilitary group with the objective of having a free Naga society away from India.
  • The outfit aims to establish a ‘Greater Nagaland’ and its manifesto is based on the principle of Socialism for economic development and a spiritual outlook – ‘Nagaland for Christ’.
  • The NSCN has been declared as a terrorist organisation in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Two major factions of NSCN

  • NSCN (K), led by S. S. Khaplang; and
  • NSCN (I-M), led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

Source of their Income

  • Drug trafficking from Myanmar - a major source
  • Extortion, bank robberies and other criminal pursuits to obtain finance.
  • The outfit generates funds through international mobilization.

Way Forward

  • The assurance given by the Centre to the state during the peace process in 2015 is not yet realized on ground.
  • The people of state consider it as a “breach of trust” by the Central government.
  • Despite civil society groups and all political parties unequivocally demanding a solution before the 2018 polls, no solution is yet provided.
  • Considering the importance of the state which lies at the international border of India with Myanmar, the law and order situation is very critical. Thus, all stakeholders should come to realize a peace accord at the earliest.

Source: The Hindu

Mains Question:

Q. What do you mean by Greater Nagalim? Discuss the issues and challenges associated with the Naga Peace Accord. [250 Words].