Indian government has signed a peace agreement with Nagaland separatists to mark the end of 60 years conflict in the region.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a peace accord with a leading tribal separatist group in country’s northeast region on Monday. Mr. Modi described the pact between his government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland as “historic”. The insurgent group was represented by its chief Thuingaleng Muivah along with other leaders of the group.
“I thank God for this momentous occasion. Naga people have great respect for Mahatma Gandhi. We appreciate the statesmanship of (former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” Mr. Muivah said.
Modi’s government has expressed its priority to build better infrastructure in underdeveloped northeastern states, which has been neglected by former political leaders.
“I have deepest admiration for the Naga people for their extraordinary support to the peace efforts,” Mr. Modi said after the occasion. “Our oldest insurgency is getting resolved, it is a signal to other smaller groups to give up weapons,” he added.
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) is one of the several rebel groups active in the northeastern region of India and the group has been involved in guerrilla fighting for more than six decades against the central rule from New Delhi.
The Nagaland separatists have been demanding for an independent homeland for two million Naga tribes people living in Nagaland and also in the states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The state officials and NSCN have been in talks since 1997.
Beginning this year, the northeastern separatists have stepped up attacks against armed forces of the country. In June, guerillas killed more than a dozen soldiers in a brutal assault on security forces in Manipur. More than 170 people have been killed due to the ongoing conflict in northeast this year. IMAGE/indianexpress