IFP Bureau, IMPHAL
As the set deadline passes over, all forms of negotiation between the Government of India and all Naga groups have also come to an end on Thursday. The NSCN (I-M) has agreed to sign the final peace pact without the “flag and constitution” which constituted the group’s main demand till the last leg of the negotiation. The Government of India has apparently agreed to jointly work out the “competencies” at the earliest so that the final agreement can be inked. However, the date of signing of the agreement is yet to be decided.
The modalities of having “one process and one solution” will now be worked out in the next few weeks. The Governor of Nagaland, who is also the interlocutor to the Naga Peace talks, R N Ravi will make efforts to bring the NSCN (I-M) and the Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on board together in the coming days.
After Thursday’s talk, it was decided that the issue of “flag and constitution” could be pursued through peaceful, democratic political process after the final signing of the agreement. It may be mentioned that on Monday, the Government of India did not accept NSCN (I-M)’s demand for a separate Naga “flag and constitution”. The interlocutor to the peace talks, R N Ravi had made it clear that there will be “no negotiation over any issues, with any group, after October 31 deadline.”
It may be recalled that Ravi was determined to conclude the peace negotiation process without delay. In a statement issued on October 18, Ravi said “the endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable” and that the Government of India expected all negotiating parties to “heed the will of the people and facilitate the conclusion of the negotiation” which has been going on for the last over 22 years.
Ravi had stated that the Naga peace process, during the last five years, had become inclusive and reached a conclusion stage and disclosed that all Naga armed groups have worked out the final draft agreement with the Government of India.
He had also expressed displeasure with the NSCN (I-M) which insisted on including Naga “flag and constitution” in the the final agreement and accused the group of adopting a “procrastinating attitude” to delay the settlement.
The Government of India signed agreements with NSCN(I-M) on August 3, 2015 and with other seven Naga armed groups under the banner of Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on November 17,2017. In the last many years, the interlocutor to the Naga peace talks have been consulting stakeholders, tribal and civil society organisations in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Home Ministry clarifies on Naga settlement issue
Meanwhile, reacting to tensions prevailing in Northeast region, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday evening said before any settlement is arrived at with Naga groups, all stakeholders, including States of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will be duly consulted and their concerns taken into consideration.
It has come to the notice of the Government that rumours and misinformation is being spread in media, including social media that the final Naga settlement has been arrived at and will be announced soon. This is creating anxiety and concern in some parts of the country, according to the statement. The Home Affairs Ministry said no credence needs to be given to such rumours and incorrect information.