As neighbouring states of Nagaland await clarity on the Naga peace accord, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said any move that affects the interests of his state will be opposed "tooth and nail".
Acknowledging that the accord signed on Monday between the Centre and key Naga outfit NSCN (IM) that is aimed at ending insurgency will help in restoring peace in Nagaland, Gogoi, however, expressed surprise why the clauses of the agreement have been "kept in the dark."
The statement by the leader of the Congress-ruled state came even as former Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who brokered the peace deal between the Centre and the NSCN(I-M), expressed happiness over the signing of the Naga accord described as "historic" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Zoramthanga told PTI in Aizawl that he was yet to learn the terms of the accord, but was happy that peace would prevail in the trouble-torn Nagaland.
"The agreement has been reached after prolonged struggle by the Naga group and it will help in restoring peace and prosperity in Nagaland, but it is astonishing why the clauses of the agreement are kept in the dark," Gogoi said in a statement in Guwahati.
"The ministry of Home Affairs has given the impression that it is in the dark about the details of the agreement and to keep such an important document under wraps raises doubt about its veracity. It also raises doubt that the peace deal might affect the interests of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh," he said. Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh is also ruled by the Congress.
"We appreciate peace in Nagaland and welcome settlement of Naga issues, but will oppose tooth and nail any move that affects the interests of Assam," he said.
Official sources in Delhi said on Monday that details and execution plan within the Naga framework agreement will be released shortly.
It was not immediately clear whether the agreement meets the main demand of NSCN(IM) for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas in the North East across Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Gogoi pointed out that he was strongly opposed to the previous NDA government's move to extend ceasefire in the Naga-inhabited areas beyond Nagaland.
Nagaland Chief minister T R Zeliang and the lone MP from the state Neiphiu Rio welcomed the signing of the accord.
While details of the accord are still awaited, Zeliang expressed confidence that "both the parties have taken into account the aspirations of the Nagas as expressed by Naga civil societies during their interactions with the interlocutor, RN Ravi."
"Our people have been struggling for more than six decades for a settlement to the Naga issue and the signing of the peace accord is a welcome step towards such a settlement."
As people in Nagaland eagerly await the details of the accord, the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation president S Khoiwang said "If they have signed the accord, which is acceptable to all section of Naga people, we welcome it, but it is not then the accord will be rejected."