NSCN-IM wants Nagaland Governor removed as interlocutor for peace talks
Accusing Nagaland Governor RN Ravi of creating hurdles in the final settlement of the Naga political issue, the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on Tuesday sought his removal as the interlocutor for the ongoing peace talks.
In a statement issued by the outfit’s information wing, NSCN-IM said the peace process is in a state of “simmering tension” and reaching “tipping point” because of Ravi’s “vitriolic attack” on Naga issue.
“The issue is now in the court of Government of India that should come out with an undertaking that Framework Agreement (signed in August 2015) is still alive in its original form and to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi,” the statement read.
The biggest and oldest of the Naga rebel outfits, NSCN-IM had been in peace talks with central government since 1997 and signed a Framework Agreement (FA) in 2015, which was to be the basis for a final deal on the long pending Naga issue.
Though peace talks with NSCN-IM and other pro-talks rebel outfits (Naga National Political Groups-NNPGs) concluded In October, 2019 a formal deal to end the decades old Naga political problem is still awaited.
NSCN-IM’s accusations against Ravi come at a time when another round of meetings to thrash out a final agreement is set to begin in New Delhi from next week in which senior NSCN-IM and NNPGs leaders are expected to take part.
“All the hard word of 23 years of Indo-Naga political talks having passed through six successive prime ministers is coming to a nauseating end because of the mischief that keeps boiling in the hands of this interlocutor who has become more a liability than anything,” the statement said.
Stating that the actions of Ravi after he was posted as Governor of Nagaland last year as casting a “huge trust deficit”, the outfit added that he (Ravi) has “set the bridge on fire and the meeting point is something unthinkable”.
NSCN-IM has been upset with actions initiated against its cadres in recent months. It also took umbrage at Ravi terming Naga rebel outfits as “armed gangs” and “underground groups” in a letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in June this year.