Stalemate in Naga talks prevails

NEW DELHI, Oct 29: Hectic parleys continued for the second consecutive day on Tuesday to find a lasting solution to the seven-decade-old insurgency problem in Nagaland with the Centre’s interlocutor and Governor RN Ravi holding separate talks with the NSCN (IM) and a conglomerate of seven organisations, officials said.
While the dialogue with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) here is heading for conclusion, the NSCN (IM), a major insurgent group in the Northeast, is still resisting the government pressure to give up their demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.
“The interlocutor held discussions with the NNPG in the morning and with the NSCN (IM) in the afternoon. The talks are expected to be held again soon,” an official privy to the development said.
The dialogues were convened in Delhi in a bid to iron out differences, particularly on the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas, that have already been rejected by the Centre.
Ravi in a statement last week said that a mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues, is ready for signing the final agreement.
“Unfortunately at this auspicious juncture, the NSCN (IM) has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement, raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution, on which they are fully aware of the government of India’s position,” he had said.
Ravi’s statement assumes significance in view of the Centre’s 5 August announcement abrogating the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370. With the annulment of the special status, the separate flag and the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir cease to exist.
The framework agreement was signed on 3 August, 2015, by NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah and Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough coming in 1997, when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland, which started soon after India’s independence in 1947.
The central government has already rejected the NSCN (IM)’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas located in Manipur, Arunachal and Assam. The three northeastern states also vehemently opposed it.

‘Agreement should not affect Arunachal’s territory’

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Civil Society (ACS) has said it would strongly oppose any attempt to change the territorial jurisdiction of Arunachal, or any kind of administrative intervention in the state, while reaching a solution to the decades-old Naga problem.
“The proposed agreement between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) should not affect Arunachal Pradesh and its people in any way,” the ACS stated in a press release on Tuesday.
Stating that the people of Tirap, Changlang, Longding and nearby districts “are living a terrible life due to the presence of various insurgent groups,” the ACS urged the central government to take proper measures, in consultation with the citizens concerned, before reaching any conclusion to the problem.
“We have never seen that the state government is taking any concrete steps in respect to territorial jurisdiction,” the ACS said.
“The home minister should call an immediate meeting with all stakeholders regarding the Naga peace accord,” it said. (With PTI input)