Centre assigns mediators to Nagaland, signalling resumption of peace talks
When Ravi and the NSCN (IM) fell out over above mentioned issues pertaining to the Framework Agreement, signed with the Centre in 2015, the NSCN (IM) leadership had been meeting a team from government of India led by IB officials including Mishra for Naga peace talks
Former additional director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) AK Mishra arrived in Nagaland on Saturday and is widely expected to hold a series of informal talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) in the next few days to revive the Naga peace process that was stuck since October 2019 over the rebel group’s insistence on a separate Naga flag and constitution.
HT has learnt that Mishra, currently an advisor in the Union home ministry, is a choice candidate to replace former Nagaland governor RN Ravi as interlocutor to resume the peace talks but an official order to this effect is yet to be issued. Ravi was recently made Tamil Nadu governor.
After the derailment of the talks since the contested 31st October 2019 deadline, when Ravi and the NSCN (IM) fell out over above mentioned issues pertaining to the Framework Agreement, signed with the Centre in 2015, the NSCN (IM) leadership had been meeting a team from government of India led by IB officials including Mishra.
People aware of the developments said Ravi is yet to be officially relieved from his role as interlocutor and Mishra will be working as an emissary, but the latter is already being referred to as the “new interlocutor” in various sections of the media. Even the state government spokesperson Neiba Kronu on Saturday told journalists in Kohima that “new interlocutor AK Mishra has been appointed” and he knew the Naga issue well.
It was also learnt that on the directive of the Centre, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will be coming to Nagaland on September 21 and Kronu said the state’s Parliamentary Core Committee will try to meet Sarma along with the “negotiating parties”. Sarma and Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio were earlier tasked by Union home minister Amit Shah to act as go-betweens when the relationship between Ravi and NSCN (IM) soured.
Meanwhile, NSCN (IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, along with the group’s team assigned to resume talks, is also said to have reached Dimapur on Saturday from the NSCN designated camp Hebron. People aware of the developments said a series of informal talks is scheduled to begin between the NSCN (IM) and Mishra from Sunday. Till the time of filing of this report, other Naga nationalist political groups were yet to receive any invitation to sit with Mishra.