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NSCN (I-M) seeks Governor Ravi’s removal as interlocutor, says he is misleading Nagas, govt

The NSCN (I-M) statement came a day after peace talks resumed between the Nagas and the Modi government following a nine-month pause, reportedly without Governor Ravi.

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New Delhi: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) Tuesday released the details of the 2015 framework agreement at a press conference and accused Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, an interlocutor in the peace talks, of deleting a keyword from the original document to “suit his interpretation”. 

The rebel group also sought Ravi’s removal from negotiations over a final peace agreement aimed at ending India’s longest insurgency.

The statement came a day after peace talks resumed between the Nagas and the Modi government following a nine-month pause. Ravi was not present for the dialogue, a source in the rebel group had told ThePrint. 

“Ravi craftily deleted the word ‘new’ from the original to justify his own narrative and circulated (the agreement) to the 14 tribe leaders, NNPGs (Naga National Political Groups), NTC (Nagaland Tribes Council) and Nagaland GB (Gaon Burahs, village chieftains) Federation,” the NSCN (I-M) statement reads. 

According to the NSCN (IM), Ravi removed the word “new” from a line in the agreement. This, they say, makes it appear like the framework agreement signed between the central government and the group falls within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

The line in question seeks to provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.

“The fact is that framework agreement is outside the purview of Indian federation/Constitution. But in his report furnished to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, he manipulated in his own narrative that is far from the actual meaning as very unambiguously worded in layman’s language in the original copy of FA (framework agreement),” the group said.


Also Read: NSCN (I-M) resumes talks with Centre ‘without Governor Ravi’, says focus on contentious areas


‘Handled by somebody other than RN Ravi’

One of the largest Naga groups, the NSCN (I-M) had in August 2015 signed the framework agreement with the Modi government, but certain sticking points remained. Last year, the peace talks missed their dialogue but the government managed to bring the NSCN (I-M) back on board for a dialogue. 

The group had been refusing to talk over its contentious demand for a separate flag and constitution. However, there has been little clarity on the specifics of what was agreed upon by the group and the central government. The NSCN (I-M) says it was in the ensuing days that Ravi sought to play foul. 

The framework agreement released by the NSCN (I-M) is four paragraphs long and ends with the promise that “details and execution plan will be worked out and implemented shortly”. 

The NSCN (I-M) said it had so far refrained from publishing the agreement in deference to the “tacit understanding reached between the two sides not to release to the public domain for security reasons of India”. Interlocutor Ravi took “undue advantage” and started “modifying and manipulating” the agreement to mislead the Nagas and the central government.

The NSCN (I-M) has demanded that the Modi government come out with an undertaking that the framework agreement is still alive in its “original form”, adding that it should “be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi”.

Among other things, the Naga outfit has accused the governor of employing “unparliamentary language” against their negotiating team, and “using slanderous terms like ‘armed gangs’ & ‘underground groups’ against the very groups he has been talking for years”.

The NSCN (I-M) has been at loggerheads with Governor Ravi since he wrote a letter to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, raising concerns over the “collapse of law & order” in the state. 

Ravi said in the 16 June letter that “over half a dozen organised armed gangs were brazenly running their respective ‘so called governments’ challenging the legitimacy of the state government”.

The letter was followed by a Nagaland government order dated 7 July that asked state officials to declare if their family members or relatives are members of any “underground organisation”.


Also read: We want peace but Governor Ravi is taking us back to fighting days, says NSCN (I-M)


 

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