NSCN-IM again attacks Governor RN Ravi over Naga peace talks
The NSCN-IM once again attacked Nagaland Governor and interlocutor for Naga peace talks R N Ravi on Sunday, accusing him of converting a political issue into a law and order problem and adopting a “stratagem” that resulted in the killing and arrest of its members. In a statement, the NSCN-IM, which has been engaged in peace negotiations with the Centre for the last 23 years, also alleged that Ravi was trying to divide the Naga people and “misled” the central government and a parliamentary standing committee on the framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015.
On August 11, the NSCN-IM had alleged that Ravi was involved in “mischief” and that he has become a “liability”.
The NSCN-IM now said the issue is of serious nature as the very essence of the framework agreement had been found missing or manipulated in the copy circulated by Ravi among his favoured Naga civil society organisations to give different narratives.
“As a follow-up for public scrutiny on how Ravi misinformed and misled the government of India, we furnish here the original copy and Ravi’s manipulated copy of the framework agreement,” the group said, releasing two versions of the document.
The NSCN-IM said given the nature of Ravi’s handling of the Naga political issue, it is pertinent to point out that the talks are on Naga political issues for all the Nagas and covering all the Naga areas. But surprisingly, the group said, Ravi reduced the talks to the state of Nagaland only, which is not only a “mockery” of the framework agreement co-authored by him representing the Prime Minister of India but also an “insult” to the Nagas as a whole.
“Much to the indignation of the Naga people, Ravi went against their commitment to pull down the Naga political issue to constitutional law and order problem. As a result of his newly founded stratagem, we have seen the killings of NSCN members, house raids, arrest and manhunt,” it said. The NSCN-IM also sought a response from Ravi on the issue.
A text message sent by PTI to Ravi, seeking his comments on the NSCN-IM’s allegations, did not elicit any response till filing of this report. The Naga insurgent group said that according to Ravi, the framework agreement was just about the recognition of the uniqueness of the Naga history by the government of India and an understanding that inclusive settlement will be within the Indian federation with due regards to the uniqueness of the Naga history.
Ravi further stated that it was implied in the agreement that some special arrangements will have to be made for the Nagas. This is simply Ravi’s twisted interpretation of the agreement, it claimed.
The NSCN-IM also alleged that Ravi got himself “a good partner” in former Nagaland Chief Minister and former Governor of Odisha, S C Jamir, “who is tooth and nail against Naga solution”. “Both of them had been surreptitiously working together and they are responsible for holding the NNPGs (Naga National Political Groups) in the grip and misled the government of India, particularly the Prime Minister,” it said.
On the current status of the talks, the group said the discussions with the interlocutor have not been passed on to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) level negotiations. “Interlocutor carries the mandate of the PM. NSCN has been talking to Ravi as Interlocutor and not as Governor,” it said.
The group said that since Ravi created “imbroglio” in the process, the Prime Minister gave the mandate to continue the talks to a team of IB as a “Fast Track Channel” for communication and clear the pending points in the competency.
“Once everything is clear, the agreement will be at political level of the Prime Minister. Significantly, there is officially agreed and set up mechanism between the government of India and NSCN for the political talks and ceasefire which need to be enumerated herewith,” it said.
On August 14, NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah had said the government of India through the Framework Agreement recognises the “sovereignty” of the Nagas. The agreement also says, “Inclusive peaceful coexistence of the two entities sharing sovereign power,” he had said.
The framework agreement, which was signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough made in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s Independence in 1947.