The Government of India on Thursday held a meeting with the NSCN-IM in New Delhi in the absence of Nagaland Governor R N Ravi, who is the government’s interlocutor in the Naga peace talks. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The NSCN-IM, one of the biggest insurgent groups in the Northeast which has had a ceasefire arrangement with the Indian government for 23 years now, had expressed its displeasure with Ravi to the Indian government. The outfit had also issued a series of public statements against the Governor over the past few months.
While the meetings with NSCN-IM are deemed to be “informal meetings”, the question of whether Ravi will attend future meetings is uncertain. NSCN leaders said this would depend entirely on the Centre.
For now, sources said, the talks between IB officials and the insurgent group leaders will focus on ironing out differences that had cropped up between the group and the Indian state since the official Naga peace talks ended on October 31 last year. These meetings will also seek to determine how a solution can be arrived at and fast-tracked.
In a recent statement, the NSCN-IM had called the October deadline “unethical” and questioned why the Nagaland Governor was “rushing” the talks.
Meanwhile, Ravi has arrived in New Delhi, ostensibly to continue the talks with the group.
The NSCN-IM had on Tuesday issued a five page public statement, titled “Mr. RN Ravi’s mis-doings as Interlocutor”, which said the governor has been under the “NSCN’s scanner” from the time he “twisted the Framework Agreement and misled the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue”.
It said it had taken umbrage to the report furnished by Ravi to the Parliamentary Standing Committee that said that the framework agreement talked of a solution “within India” and not “with India”, which was the earlier position in peace talks. It pointed out that Ravi’s letter to the Nagaland government in June referred to them as “armed groups”, accused them of extortion and wrote that their “parallel governments” were in contravention to India’s security.
Sources said that no timeline or deadline has been fixed for the fresh round of peace talks.