Sunday, April 29, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Centre signs truce pact with Naga ultras
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
In a major boost to the peace initiative in the North-East, the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) today jointly announced a formal ceasefire, which will be operational for one year.

“It has been jointly agreed between the Government of India and the NSCN (K) to announce a formal ceasefire declaration for a period of one year with effect from April 28,” an official press note quoting Home Minister L.K. Advani, who is in Kohima, said here.

A joint ceasefire agreement is already in existence with the main NSCN (I/M) faction, which will continue till July this year, and the Centre has also initiated informal negotiations with the third militant outfit in Nagaland — the NSCN (Federal).

Announcing that the text of “ceasefire ground rules” had been agreed upon between the Centre and the NSCN (K), Mr Advani hoped that the ceasefire would enlarge the area of peace in Nagaland.

Under the ground rules agreed upon, the NSCN (K) will be confined to some designated camps in Nagaland, will not harbour any other militant group, and will not indulge in killings, extortion, or kidnappings. There is also a general agreement to reduce factional violence between the NSCN (K) and NSCN (I/M).

Stating that the ceasefire would also meet the longstanding demands of the people of Nagaland, the Home Minister appealed to all other militant groups in the North-East to shun the path of violence and come for talks to sort out any issue between them and the Centre or state governments.

The statement of Mr Advani received here noted that following the ceasefire with the NSCN (I/M) in August, 1997, there had been persistent demands from the people of Nagaland, non-governmental agencies, church leaders and the state government for similar agreements with other militant groups.

Home Ministry Additional Secretary P.D. Shenoy, who headed a Central team for discussions with the NSCN (K) faction led by Tongmeth Wangnao Konyak earlier this month, told newspersons here that while the Assam Rifles and the Army had worked towards preparing the ground rules, the Nagaland and Assam Governments were kept in the picture throughout the negotiations. The Centre had been in consultation with Nagaland and Assam.

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