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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Nagaland cancels leave of bureaucrats, cops amid rumors of Naga peace deal

The development comes after the Centre made it clear last week that negotiations with the Naga rebel outfits, which have been going on for past 22 years, won’t continue beyond October 31.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2019 01:54 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
There is speculation that a final peace deal to solve the Naga issue could be announced soon.
There is speculation that a final peace deal to solve the Naga issue could be announced soon.(Corbis via Getty Images)
         

Amid speculation that the final agreement on the Naga peace talks could be signed anytime now, the Nagaland government has issued orders cancelling leave of bureaucrats and police personnel and asked them to stay put in their duty stations.

The development comes after the Centre made it clear last week that negotiations with the Naga rebel outfits, which have been going on for past 22 years, won’t continue beyond October 31.

According to senior government officials, instructions were issued on Monday to deputy commissioners of all districts not to move out of their place of posting till further notice.

The state’s DGP also cancelled leave of all police personnel, who are not on maternity or medical leave, and directed them to report to their place of posting immediately.

“Wild speculation that an announcement of solution to the Naga issue is imminent is leading to an uncertain atmosphere. In light of that, certain precautionary measures have been put in place and officials of the police and administration have been asked to not leave their station,” said A Sinha, a senior Nagaland government official

Another official speaking on condition of anonymity said the suggestion that a deal could be announced without the Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN (NSCN-IM), which could lead to possible law and order problem, is also one of the reasons for the precautionary measures.

Sinha, meanwhile, said there is no communication to the government of Nagaland of any agreement or deal being signed on any specific date.

DGP Nagaland TJ Longkumer when asked if the situation is tense in light of the peace talks coming to an end said, “we are alert to any situation that may arise,” while adding that no additional forces have been sought..

On Monday, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy directed all government employees not to criticize policies and actions of the government in press, social media or public meetings or else face “disciplinary action”.

“It has come to notice that some government servants have been found criticizing policies and actions of the government by expressing their views/opinions or by making statements in the press, social media and in public meetings,” said the order.

While seven Naga rebel outfits who are in talks with Centre are ready to sign a final agreement to end the peace talks, NSCN-IM, the biggest of them all, has been seeking a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas to be included in the deal.

Last week, Centre’s chief interlocutor for the talks and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi had blamed NSCN-IM of procrastinating signing of the final agreement on the issue of a separate flag and constitution even though New Delhi has refused to grant them.

“It (the flag and constitution) matters Naga’s pride and identity. It matters Naga’s future and security. It matters Naga’s covenant with God. And, this is the reason why Nagas are sentimentally attached with flag and constitution,” NSCN-IM had said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

(With inputs from Sadiq Naqvi)

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