NSCN-IM Trains Guns on Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, Seeks His Removal as Peace Talks Interlocutor

File photo of Nagaland Governor RN Ravi.

File photo of Nagaland Governor RN Ravi.

In a statement, the Naga militant group also said that the central government should appoint a new interlocutor to carry forward the peace negotiations.

The NSCN-IM on Tuesday came down heavily on Nagaland Governor and interlocutor for peace talks RN Ravi and alleged that he is involved in "mischief" and has become a "liability".

In a statement, the Naga militant group also said that the central government should appoint a new interlocutor to carry forward the peace negotiations.

"All the hard work of 23 years of political talks having passed through six successive prime ministers is coming to a nauseating end because of the mischief that keeps boiling in the hands of this interlocutor, who has become more a liability than anything," the group said. The NSCN-IM leadership is currently in Delhi and held two rounds of official-level discussions in the last few days.

The NSCN-IM alleged that Ravi's "mis-doings" created a state of "simmering tension" among the parties to the peace talks and the situation was now reaching a tipping point, "all because of RN Ravi's vitriolic attack on Naga issue, the very issue he was assigned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to negotiate on his behalf to bring solution that is honourable and acceptable".

Referring to the 2015 Framework of Agreement, which was signed by the NSCN-IM leadership and Ravi in the presence of the prime minister, the group said the pact was the fruition of the recognition of the unique history and situation of the Naga by the government of India and the basis for final settlement of the Naga issue.

"Catastrophic as it is, the framework of agreement is now undergoing castration at the hands of the very person who co-authored it with NSCN chairman (late) Isak Chishi Swu and NSCN general secretary Th Muivah," it said.

The NSCN-IM said the issue is now in the court of the government of India that should come out with an undertaking that the framework of agreement is still alive in its original form and to be handled by somebody other than Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.

The group said the sanctity of the Naga political legitimacy comes under assault when Ravi made a tumultuous turn using slanderous terms like "armed gangs" and "underground groups" against the very groups he has been talking to for years.

The NSCN-IM said the tipping point comes when he ordered the Nagaland government to issue office memorandum requiring all state government employees to self-declare their relations with the "Naga underground groups".

"This is the bone of contention that has cropped up as Naga people cried foul over such outmoded policy that does no longer fit into the present scheme of things to end a century-old Naga political issue," it said.

The group also alleged that Ravi had "twisted" the framework agreement and "misled" the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue.

Two influential Naga civil society groups — the Naga Hoho and Naga Mothers' Association (NMA) — have also complained to Prime Minister Modi against Governor Ravi alleging that he has been functioning in "autocratic" manner and without any regard for what has been achieved in 23 years of peace talks with the NSCN-IM.

The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and Ravi in presence of the prime minister to hammer out a final solution.

In October last year, in a statement, Ravi had ruled out a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas as demanded by the NSCN-IM and made it clear that the "endless negotiations with the insurgent group under the shadow of guns is not acceptable".

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

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.

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