Several Naga bodies oppose removal of Nagaland Governor as interlocutor for peace talks
The NNPGs are a group of seven Naga outfits and organizations who along with NSCN-IM are also involved in talks with the Centre to sign a final agreement to the Naga issue.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 22:00 IST
Several prominent Naga groups on Wednesday opposed the removal of Nagaland Governor RN Ravi as the interlocutor for the ongoing peace talks as sought by the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM).
On Tuesday, the NSCN-IM accused Ravi of creating hurdles in the final agreement of the Naga political issue and sought his removal as interlocutor.
“We find no logic to remove Ravi as the interlocutor at this point of time. The formal talks concluded on October 31 last year and we are all waiting for the signing of the final agreement. But NSCN-IM is indulging in delaying tactics now,” said Alezo Venuh, coordinator of the working committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
The NNPGs are a group of seven Naga outfits and organizations who along with NSCN-IM are also involved in talks with the Centre to sign a final agreement to the Naga issue.
“There is no ground to remove Ravi. There is no point going back to square one. Whoever is asking for the interlocutor’s removal doesn’t want a solution, but wants to continue the issue. The talks have been going on for 23 years, the Naga people now want a solution without delay,” said Venuh.
In a statement issued on Tuesday NSCN-IM had 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 the 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.
The NSCN-IM’s accusations against Ravi comes 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.
However, the Apex Naga Tribal Hohos of Nagaland (ANTHN), an organization of the 14 major Naga tribes in the state, in a statement issued on Tuesday backed Ravi’s continuance as interlocutor.
“The peace process is in the last leg, therefore demanding change of interlocutor at this stage is uncalled for. It is the Centre’s prerogative on who they want to represent it at the talks. We shouldn’t have any problem with that and focus on putting our views across,” said Theja Therieh, executive member of Naga Tribes Council (NTC).
Earlier several organizations like Lotha Hoho, Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation and Zeliangrong Baudi had also come out in support of Ravi and opposed demands for his removal as interlocutor.
“We have no connection with NSCN-IM’s statement and there is no question of favouring or not favouring removal of Ravi as interlocutor from our side,” said HK Zhimomi, president of Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body of Nagas in Nagaland.