More than 10 months after the last round of talks, a high-level delegation of NSCN(IM) leaders arrived in New Delhi Saturday, following an invitation of the Government of India for resumption of the Naga peace talks.
The delegation, led by its chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, will meet different officials before attending the formal discussions next week.
The last round of discussions were held in New Delhi last November, while a meeting with the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, slated on December 6, 2013, was cancelled at the last moment. An NSCN(IM) delegation had visited New Delhi in March, but the Centre had cancelled another round of talks in view of the Lok Sabha polls.
There has been speculation in the media in Nagaland about NSCN(IM) leaders also meeting PM Narendra Modi, especially in view of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee appreciating the “unique history of the Nagas” during his visit to Nagaland in July 2002.
The NSCN(IM) has been on a ceasefire with the Government of India since August 1, 1997, following which it has held a series of discussions with New Delhi. While the group has dropped its demand for ‘sovereignty’, it has maintained that it would continue to press for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas, with the present state of Nagaland.
Though the NSCN(IM) is looking forward to a result-oriented peace negotiation with the new BJP-led dispensation at the Centre, earlier this month the group had taken exception to the appointment of former IB special director R N Ravi as New Delhi’s new interlocutor over remarks the latter had made in a newspaper article he had written in last December.
This had prompted new Nagaland Governor and veteran BJP leader P B Acharya to clarify that Ravi’s article was written much before the new government was elected.