Updated: September 10, 2021 7:33:47 am
In a move suggesting disapproval of Naga interlocutor R N Ravi’s handling of the Naga peace process in the last couple of years, the Centre has made him the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
In a press statement, the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday said the President has appointed three Governors, besides accepting the resignation of one.
Besides Ravi’s appointment, Banwarilal Purohit, who was Governor of Tamil Nadu till now, has been sent to poll-bound Punjab, and Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, who retired as Deputy Chief of Army Staff, has been appointed the Uttarakhand Governor after incumbent Baby Rani Maurya resigned.
Lt Gen Singh has served as corps commander of the strategic XV Corps, which overlooks the Line of Control in Kashmir. He also handled China operational and military strategic issues as additional director general of Military Operations.
The order said Assam Governor Jagdeesh Mukhi will hold additional charge of Nagaland.
The Naga peace process has had a rough ride in the last couple of years due to deteriorating relationship between NSCN-IM, the lead Naga group negotiating with the Centre, and Ravi. Despite a Framework Agreement for Naga Peace Accord having been signed in 2015, the government has not been able to finalise the Accord.
Last year, the relationship between the two sides became so strained that NSCN-IM sought Ravi’s removal for the talks to be successful. In fact, for the last one year the Intelligence Bureau has been interacting with Naga groups, particularly NSCN-IM, for the Naga Peace Accord.
The relationship between Ravi and NSCN-IM soured in early 2020 after the former wrote to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, criticising the law and order situation. Pointing to “rampant extortion and violence”, Ravi had alleged that “armed gangs” were running parallel governments, “challenging the legitimacy of the state government”. The state government had said his assessment was not “factual”.
Ravi’s posting as Governor of a much bigger state is a signal by the government that while it wants the Naga peace process to move forward, it values his contribution as Naga interlocutor over the years.
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