Govt holds crucial meet to find solution to Naga issue

Last Updated : 24 October 2019, 17:06 IST
Last Updated : 24 October 2019, 17:06 IST

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A crucial round of talks to find a lasting solution to the seven-decade-old Naga insurgency problem was held on Thursday but the dialogue remained inconclusive, sources said.

A team of the NSCN-IM, led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, and Centre's interlocutor and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi discussed various demands raised by the group, they said.

However, the dialogue with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM remained inconclusive and may resume after a few days, the sources said.

There is a possibility of Ravi holding the talks with other Naga insurgent groups like NSCN (Neopao Konyak/Kitovi), NSCN (Reformation) and NSCN (K-Khango) on Friday.

Sources said the issue of a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas has become the main contention between the two sides with the NSCN-IM strongly pressing for it.

However, Ravi in a statement had said last week that a mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, 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 bears significance in view of the central government's August 5 announcement abrogating the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. With the annulment of the special status, the separate flag and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.

The interlocutor said the NSCN-IM has "mischievously" dragged in the framework agreement and began imputing imaginary contents to it.

The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM's Muivah and interlocutor Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough made 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 Pradesh and Assam. The three Northeastern states also vehemently opposed it.

Published 24 October 2019, 16:38 IST

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