Imphal: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now mandated the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to carry on the peace talks as Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who is also the interlocutor, “created an imbroglio” in the process.
“The interlocutor carries the mandate of the PM… But since [Nagaland Governor R.N.) Ravi created an imbroglio in the talk process, the PM has given mandate to continue the talk to a team of IB as a Fast Track Channel for communication and clear the pending points in the competency,” the NSCN(I-M) said in a statement released Sunday evening.
The NSCN(I-M) — the largest Naga group involved in the 23-year-old peace dialogue — had last week demanded the removal of R.N. Ravi as the interlocutor, two months after the Governor shot off a letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in which he blamed the groups for the “precarious law and order situation” in the state.
ThePrint has reported last week that the peace talks had resumed without Governor Ravi.
“Given the nature of Ravi’s handling of the Indo-Naga political issue, it is pertinent to point out that talks are on political issues for all Nagas and covering all Naga areas. But surprisingly, Mr. Ravi reduces the talks to the state of Nagaland only,” the group said in the statement Sunday.
ThePrint contacted R.N. Ravi through texts and calls for a comment. This report will be updated when he responds.
The Framework Agreement
Last week, the NSCN(I-M) had released details of the 2015 Framework Agreement and accused Governor Ravi of deleting a key word from the original document to “suit his interpretation”.
According to the group, the interlocutor had removed the word ‘new’ from a line in the original agreement when floating it to other groups involved in the peace negotiations such as the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) and the Nagaland GB (Gaon Burahs, village chieftains) Federation.
This, they said, left room for misinterpretation as it made it seem the agreement was within the ambit of the Indian Constitution. The NSCN(I-M) has been sticking to its demand for a separate flag and Constitution, which has emerged as a contentious issue in the peace talks.
In its statement Sunday, the NSCN(I-M) published both the “original copy” of the Framework Agreement and the “manipulated/modified copy”.
“Ravi’s off-repeated catchphrase is ‘one issue one solution’ but he signed two agreements — Framework Agreement with NSCN and Agreed Position with NNPGs,” the group alleged. “Where is he trying to take the Nagas to? He simply wants to keep the Naga people divided by signing a parallel agreement.”
On 14 August, which is observed as the ‘Naga Independence Day’, NSCN(I-M)’s general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah asserted that the Nagas will “neither accept the Union of India nor her Constitution at any point of time”.
A day later, however, Governor R.N. Ravi in his Independence Day speech described Nagaland as the “worst-performing” state and said “vested interests had misappropriated the peace dividends”.