Peeved over a ‘goof-up’ that led to the clearance of a trip to Nagaland by eight envoys of the European Union, the Union home ministry lodged a protest with the external affairs ministry.
“The due process was not followed. Without realising the sensitiveness of the situation in Nagaland, someone in the MEA gave a go-ahead to the trip,” said a senior home ministry official.
“Our concern is that we should have been consulted. We don’t even know their agenda and who all this delegation will meet. We will now examine the damage if there has been any,” the official added, hinting at a possibility that there may have been one more attempt to ‘internationalise’ the Nagaland situation.
Nagaland has been home to a raging insurgency for more than half a century although one of the main insurgent organisations — the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) — is currently involved in protracted negotiations with the government.
The group, led by EU ambassador Joao Cravinho, included top diplomats from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia.
Besides meeting state governor Nikhil Kumar and the state’s top political leadership and bureaucrats, they are also expected to meet civil society representatives from the Naga Hoho, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, Naga Mothers’ Association, Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation, Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation and Naga Students’ Federation.
Anyone visiting Nagaland is required to take an Innerline Permit while Chinese, Pakistani and Myanmarese visitors have to apply for a Restricted Area Permit (RAP). Interestingly, the team described the visit as a familiarisation trip to explore investment opportunities.