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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Row over Naga rebel ceasefire
The states affected by the Naga rebels and the ceasefire extension
By Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta

The governments and political parties in the north-eastern Indian states of Assam and Manipur have criticised the terms of a ceasefire agreement between Delhi and separatist Naga rebels.

Naga guerrillas
The truce now has no territorial limit
The ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was extended for a year on Thursday.

A joint statement by rebel leaders and Indian Government representatives said the ceasefire would now have no territorial limits in the north-east.

For the last three years, the ceasefire was limited to the state of Nagaland; NSCN guerrilla units operating outside the state were targeted by security forces.

Consultation complaint

But Assam's chief minister -Tarun Gogoi - says his government was not consulted on this issue by the federal government.

He said the NSCN could now be free to operate anywhere in the Assam, teaming up with other rebel groups in the state with whom they enjoy close relations.

Political parties in Manipur have also strongly criticised the ceasefire extension.

They say that this would lend legitimacy to the NSCN's demand for a greater ethnic Naga state, including the Naga-inhabited areas in the entire north-east.

Manipur state is under direct federal rule, and the governor is a representative of the central government and so is not expected to criticise Delhi's decision.

Security forces deployed

The Manipur state government has deployed additional police and paramilitary units in some districts of the state, anticipating trouble between ethnic Nagas and other population groups in Manipur who are fiercely opposed to the NSCN.

The Arunachal Pradesh state government has said there is no problem with the extension of the ceasefire to its state - so long as the NSCN did not misuse it by resorting to extortion and killing.

NSCN members have welcomed the ceasefire extension to other areas of north-east India.

Leaders of the NSCN's military wing said they would now be spared raids and attacks by security forces outside Nagaland.

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See also:

18 Sep 00 | South Asia
Naga rebel freed from Thai prison
03 Jul 00 | South Asia
Naga peace process in doubt
21 Jan 00 | South Asia
Funds for India's north-east
21 Nov 97 | From Our Own Correspondent
The forgotten war in Nagaland
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