SENAPATI | Jul 8: The United Naga Council (UNC) “seriously deliberated” on the ‘Territorial Council’ demanded by the armed groups which are under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) including Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the United People’s Front (UPF).
During the ‘presidential council’ meeting of the UNC held on July 5 at its office in Senapati headquarters, the Naga leaders “strongly voiced” that the ‘Territorial Council’ demanded by the KNO and the UPF “should not affect the Naga ancestral territory under any circumstances”.
The KNO and UPF are the two umbrella organisations of the Kuki armed groups. They have been holding ‘tripartite talks’ with the government for some time now after signing the Suspension of Operation (SoO).
The UNC ‘presidential council’ meeting “seriously deliberated and took note of the KNO-UPF demand for Territorial Council appearing in some local dailies as news items on June 26, 2019,” the UNC informed Newmai News Network on Monday evening.
The UNC said it “has no objection to the demand of Territorial Council by the KNO-UPF but the same should not affect the Naga ancestral territory under any circumstances”.
According to the UNC, the political position of the Naga people on land, identity, history and rights is well established. “Many lives and resources have been involved while defending, safeguarding and upholding our political rights till today,” the Naga body added.
The UNC also stated that traditional boundary of the “Naga tribal people” is well demarcated and documented. “It is only in the recent past that other community(s) intruded into our ancestral homeland,” the UNC further said, while adding, “They were allowed to settle down in our land only after fulfilling the conditions made between them and the Naga Village Chief(s)”.
Therefore, the UNC said that the Nagas will never compromise and “barter away even an inch of our ancestral homeland” under any circumstances.
“It is learnt from the local dailies that the next round of SoO tripartite talks would be taking up the issue of boundary for territorial council. That boundary should not affect the Nagas ancestral homeland,” the UNC asserted.
The UNC also stated that the “Naga people urge” the union government of India to honour the well-established political position of Naga people on land, identity, history and rights. “We also urge the Government of India to exercise its prerogatives cautiously”, the UNC added.