Diplomats in Nagaland without ‘clearance’,Home Ministry upset

Foreign nationals are required to take Protected Area Permit to travel to Nagaland.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:May 14, 2012 12:33 am

The ongoing visit of some European diplomats to Nagaland without mandatory security clearance has upset the Union Home Ministry,which has communicated its displeasure to the Ministry of External Affairs and sought to know how the visit was approved without its consent.

Foreign nationals are required to take Protected Area Permit to travel to Nagaland — apart from some other parts of the country. This is issued by the Home Ministry or its designated agencies in those places. What has irked the Home Ministry more is that these diplomats have been meeting political parties and some NGOs which,in an insurgency-prone area like Nagaland,can prove to be counter-productive.

The Home Ministry is said to be concerned that some insurgent groups could utilise these interactions to further efforts to internationalise the Nagaland issue.

The ambassadors of Germany,Poland,Finland,Czech Republic,Bulgaria,Hungary and Slovakia and representatives from the European Union arrived in Nagaland on Sunday on a three-day visit. The stated objective is to explore investment opportunities in the state as part of efforts to strengthen cooperation between India and the EU.

They have already met Governor Nikhil Kumar,business groups and some leaders of political parties. They are slated to meet Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as well. The Home Ministry has asked the MEA to seek clarification from the ambassadors about their interactions other than those with government functionaries.

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