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Nagaland Peace Moves Slide: “Guv To Blame”

Nagaland Peace Moves Slide: “Guv To Blame”

Governor NR Ravi continues behaving like a haranguer of the Naga groups, though the Constitution says he must be neutral

After 23years of peace talks, it is back to the start of the 18th hole in the neither=here=nor-there game of golf between the Government of India and the equally combative Naga rebels, both looking for an albatross.

The Indian premier Narendra Modi’s typical mumbo-jumbo about “having signed a Naga accord”was given a lie, and fell into a ditch between Dimapur and Imphal recently.

That was when the neither-here-nor-there Modi ordered a ‘crack team’ of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials to fast track the ‘communication’ and clear the pending issues.

The ‘pending issue’ now is state governor Ravi himself.

The problem is that solving the intractable Naga problem cannot be done by a team from the hugely short-staffed Intelligence Bureau, for it is not a simple matter of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The crisis is fuelled, funded and instigated by China and Myanmar, and hence the RAW and Joint Intelligence Committee of the defence forces have to combine forces.

And not just their forces, but their minds – and hearts – must solve such an intractable problem in which three countries are involved.

But the conflicts of hearts between these agencies and has always plagued the issue.

There is no unified command!

The bone of contention, according to latest reports emerging in the aftermath of the failure of the talks is an alleged attempt by the Nagaland governor RN Ravi, to what the NSCN(IM) group claimed, modify the earlier signed “Framework Agreement”(FA).

(The NSCN (IM) stands for the National Social Council of Nagaland (Isac-Muiva) faction, the largest insurgent group demanding a Naga country called Nagalim. The other faction is NSCN-Khaplang).

The FA, when signed in 2015, recognised the sovereignty of the Nagas‑who would co-exist but never merge with India, the IM faction claims.

When Ravi had, during the last round of talks, apparently sought to put the FA under the “purview of the Indian Constitution”, the Naga leaders were extremely peeved and walked out.

They demanded that the governor be replaced from the role of an interlocutor.

The Nagaland governor has remained incommunicado since the intervention of the prime minister.

But the Naga group has released a copy of the original 2015 FA to the media.

It states that the Centre had agreed on “sharing the sovereign power” and provided for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.

In fact, the contents of the 2015 FA signed in Augustthat year were released for the first time by the group last week.

And it was governor Ravi ‑who was originally from the IB, typically ‑signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre then; and he was made the Nagaland governor last year. Pay off!

NSCN-IM chief Thuingaleng Muivah, who flew down to New Delhi to participate in the talks, reportedly refused to meet Ravi after the latter’s letter to Nagaland Chief Minister.

In his letter on June 16 last, Ravi alleged that “over half a dozen organised‘ armed gangs’ were brazenly running their respective ‘so called governments’ (in Nagaland) challenging the legitimacy of the state government.”

In October last year, in a statement, Ravi had ruled out a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas as demanded by the NSCN-IM. The governor made it clear that the “endless negotiations with the insurgent group under the shadow of guns is not acceptable”

The letter was followed by another government order on July 7, asking government officials to declare if their family members or relatives “are members of any `underground organisation”.

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Sources quoting a senior government official said that Ravi’s allusion to NCSN-IM as an ‘armed gang’ was interpreted as an insult to the leadership.

It gave a serious jolt to the leadership, which felt that it was meaningless to pursue talks with the interlocutor on the heels of a serious lack of trust between the contending parties.

Incidentally, a Governor, by Constitution, cannot remain an interlocutor, since he was required to be without any political bias in running the affairs of the state. According to the Constitution.

The Naga movement is more than 70 years old.

“Catastrophic as it is, the Framework of Agreement (FA) 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 ThMuivah,” the NSCN statement.

The NSCN-IM said the issue is now in the court of the government of India,which should come out with an undertaking that the FA is still alive in its original form.

Their demand is it should be handled by somebody other than Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.

The group also alleged that Ravi had “twisted” the FA and “misled” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue.

In October last year, in a statement, Ravi had ruled out a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas as demanded by the NSCN-IM.

The governor made it clear that the “endless negotiations with the insurgent group under the shadow of guns is not acceptable”.

The NSCN-IM, has alleged that Ravi has “mischievously” dragged the FA and began imputing imaginary contents into it.”

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