GOI-NSCN (I-M) Talks: NSA Ajit Doval meets former Lt General Konsam Himalaya

General Himalaya Singh was earlier appointed by the BJP-led government in Manipur to liaise with the Government of India along with former chief minister Radhabinod Koijam on GOI-NSCN IM talks..

Amid speculations that the Government of India might bring in new facilitators to the Naga talks after the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah asked for a change of the Centre’s interlocutor, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday met the retired Lt General Konsam Himalaya Singh of Manipur in New Delhi to discuss the developments, according to highly placed sources.

It may be recalled here that General Himalaya Singh was earlier appointed by the BJP led government in Manipur to liaise with the Government of India along with former chief minister Radhabinod Koijam on GOI-NSCN IM talks. The duo had held a series of talks with the GOI interlocutor and present Nagaland Governor RN Ravi on the concerns of Manipur state relating to the talks.

While the Home Ministry plans to keep the present interlocutor in place despite demands from NSCN (I-M), as propelled by a parallel demand from NNPG and Naga Goan Burah Association to keep him the ministry is trying to bring in new facilitators to assist in the talks.

A senior official at the MHA, on condition of anonymity, had reportedly said that though the NSCN (I-M) “is more for a change of the interlocutor” – Nagaland governor R.N. Ravi – the “Ministry is not likely to concede (to it) at the moment. Instead, it may look at the possibility of bringing in a few more facilitators, though, nothing is final yet.”

The Home Ministry had earlier brought in the services of Assam Finance Minister and NEDA Convenor Himanta Biswa Sharma to break the deadlock between the NSCN-IM and the GOI representatives, after which talks resumed with top IB officials without the interlocutor RN Ravi.

Speculation in a few dailies have it that the names of AB Mathur, the Centre’s interlocutor for the NDFB talks and the continuing talks with the ULFA in Assam and the UPF-KNO of Manipur, and Lt Gen (retd) Konsam Himalaya Singh from Manipur are doing the rounds as a possible new interlocutor of the Centre for the Naga talks.

Sources also said, the Prime Minister’s Office has “set a September deadline for the final settlement of all Naga political issues.”
Konsam Himalaya Singh of Manipur became the first Indian Army officer from the North-East to become a Lieutenant General. While being Major General, he was conferred the award of Ati Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India in 2013.

Himalaya Singh had commanded 27 Rajput Regiment during the Kargil war where he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal, a decoration for leading successful operations during war. He also served as the Chairman of the Manipur Public Service Commission, after his retirement.

First Published:Sept. 19, 2020, 6:23 a.m.

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