Dimapur, August 13 (MExN): The President of the Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF) has issued a clarification to the NSCN (IM) Konyak Region’s statement which was issued on August 11, stating that it was an attempt to tarnish his image and reputation.
In the statement, the NSCN (IM) Konyak Region had alleged that the that the Federation’s earlier statement with regard to the interlocutor of the Indo-Naga peace talks was ‘manipulated’ and issued in the name of their president, “taking advantage of his ignorance.”
Shahlem Konyak, NGBF President on Thursday said that on August 5, two persons who identified themselves as NSCN (IM) officials came to his residence. “We had a cordial talk about Naga political issues,” the President said, adding that they asked him a number of questions including why NGBF is supporting the Governor RN Ravi who is also the Interlocutor for Naga peace Talks.
“I replied to them that it was not a question of Supporting Mr. R.N.Ravi but we Nagas are seeking for an early solution and the solution should come under his initiative as Interlocutor,” the NGBF president said.
They also asked the Federation’s president “why NGBF is always seeking an early Naga political solution,” to which he replied that it is what NSCN (IM) also demands.
“Lastly they asked me to give a press release as per their directive but I denied,” he added.
The mentioned points were the “only two valid points” discussed between them, besides which, no such discussion as claimed by NSCN (IM) Konyak Region took place, the NGBF President asserted.
“I have neither met any officials of NSCN (IM) Konyak Region nor had any telephonic conversation with them. Therefore whatever has been published was based on hearsays of their colleagues,” he added.
Responding to the series of allegations, the NGBF President said that, as President of the Federation, official documentations, including all the press releases are officially executed through his knowledge and consent.
In this regard, “some people taking the name of the whole organization” was a wild allegation and should be treated as an insult to the age-old GBs institution, he said.
Being the President of the entire GBs of Nagaland, irrespective of tribes or regions, getting ‘branded’ as “an ignorant leader” and “manipulated” is an insult to his leadership, Shahlem said.
Further, he said that “Speaking for the welfare of the Nagas is not a crime that needs to be apologized,” and questioned why he should be apologizing.
He pointed out that, while one part of the NSCN (IM) Konyak Region’s statement portrayed him as “illiterate and failed to understand the purpose of signing the papers for press release during the meeting,” it also indicated him as “an intellectual enough to suggest on Indo-Naga political issue” in another part.
While maintaining that NGBF stands for early Naga Political solution, the Federation’s president said, “But we are not negotiating groups,” and added that it is beyond their prerogative to declare anything or comment on the subjects mentioned in the paper.
Shahlem expressed disappointment at the ‘false statements’, terming them as attempts to tarnish his image, assassinate his character and his “entire life earned reputation.”
Stating that his “simplicity and honest approaches have been taken undue advantage of,” the NGBF President condemned the NSCN (IM) Konyak Region’s statement which he said, was intended to “create division and hatred.”