The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (IM), on Tuesday launched a sharp attack on Governor RN Ravi, accusing him of creating tensions among the parties involved in peace negotiations. Ravi is also the government’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks.
The group demanded that the Centre appoint a new interlocutor to take the peace talks forward. “The Indian government should come out with an undertaking that FA [Framework Agreement] is still alive in its original form and will be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years”, the group said in a statement. Representatives of the group are presently in Delhi to hold talks with the Centre.
“Indo-Naga political talks which has come down in the modern history as the most high profile peace process in Southeast Asia is in a state of simmering tension and reaching the tipping point all because of Mr RN Ravi’s vitriolic attack on Naga issue,” the group said. “All the hard work of 23 years of Indo-Naga political talks having passed through six successive prime ministers is coming to nauseating end because of the mischief that keeps boiling in the hands of this interlocutor who has become more a liability than anything.”
NSCN (IM) said that the 2015 Framework of Agreement, signed by the group in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was being destroyed by Ravi. “Catastrophic as it is, the framework of agreement is now undergoing castration at the hands of the very person who co-authored it with NSCN Chairman (Late) Isak Chishi Swu and NSCN General Secretary Th Muivah,” the group said.
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For over six decades, Naga nationalists have fought the Indian state for a sovereign ethnic homeland that would include Nagaland as well as the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar across the border. Over the decades, the Naga armed movement split into several factions.
In 1997, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), the largest of all Naga armed groups, signed a peace treaty and started a dialogue with the Union government. Since then seven other groups have followed suit and the peace talks are said to have expedited under the Narendra Modi government with Ravi as the interlocutor.
On October 31, talks concluded as the Naga group and the Centre broadly reached common ground. However, a final agreement is yet to be signed – and the nitty-gritty remains to be worked out.
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