NSCN (I-M) leader Th Muivah goes full throttle against Naga talks Interlocutor RN Ravi

The soured ties between the NSCN (I-M) and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi is threatening to disrupt the Naga peace negotiations.

The spat between the NSCN (I-M) and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi is worsening by the day and threatening to disrupt the Naga peace negotiations with Ravi blasting the state government and NSCN (I-M) going full throttle at him in return.

In a statement issued by Ministry of Information and Publicity (MIP) of the NSCN (I-M), it demanded talks at the highest level either with the Prime Minister or Group of Ministers or an interlocutor that carries the mandate of the PM while asserting that the ground rules of the ceasefire are outside the purview of the Indian Constitution.

In his Independence Day speech, the interlocutor for the Naga talks and Governor RN Ravi called Nagaland “the worst-performing state on almost all significant indicators of human development”.

In remarks seen as directed at the NSCN (I-M), he added, “Incongruously, a deeply entrenched network of vested interests has misappropriated the dividends of peace and not (allowed) them to or reach the people. There is mass scale mayhem and miscarriage of dreams and expectations of the people of Nagaland. It is unendurable and unacceptable.”

While Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio in his speech stressed on the need for “an early and honorable settlement of the Naga political issue”, and the state government’s role in the talks.

“The Nagas have longed for genuine peace for decades and there is a deep desire for an honorable and acceptable solution that will pave the way for all-round progress and development,” Rio said, adding that the government was carrying out consultations with all sections of society.

The NSCN (I-M), whose leaders are in Delhi, has communicated to the Centre that talks can’t go on with RN Ravi as interlocutor.

Speaking on ‘Naga Independence Day’ on Friday, NSCN (I-M) leader Th Muivah asserted their commitment to a separate Naga flag and constitution as well as a Greater Nagalim including all Naga-inhabited areas — both contentious issues that could derail the talks.

Tension between the NSCN (I-M) and Ravi has been growing since June, when the Governor wrote to the state government about “armed groups” carrying out extortion and running “parallel governments.”

In a press release issued from Hebron Sunday, the NSCN-IM released a screenshot of purportedly the ‘original copy’ of the Framework Agreement signed between the NSCN-IM and GOI, and the ‘doctored version’ allegedly circulated to the NNPGs by RN Ravi.

The statement alleged of RN Ravi reducing the talks to the state of Nagaland only while it was actually on Naga political issues for all Nagas and covering all the Naga areas.

The NSCN-IM statement also said that RN Ravi also misinformed the Parliamentary Standing Committee about the contours of the Framework Agreement which recognised the uniqueness of the Naga history by the Government of India.

Further, it alleged that RN Ravi is in cohorts with former Nagaland chief minister SC Jamir who is ‘tooth and nail against Naga solution’ defending the 16th Point Agreement.

First Published:Aug. 16, 2020, 10:25 p.m.