As Centre meets Naga groups, NSCN back to demand for Greater Nagalim

Ravi, “There is nothing left to negotiate beyond what had already been decided in October last year. All that remains is for NSCN(IM) leaders to fall in line.”

Nagaland Governor and the Centre’s interlocutor in Naga peace talks, R N Ravi, has told the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), an umbrella body of seven Naga insurgent groups, that the Centre will “not wait forever’’ for the talks to be concluded, it is learnt.

According to NNPG sources, Ravi hopes that all Naga groups, including NSCN(IM), will be part of one solution that would benefit these groups as well as the Naga people. He is also learnt to have said that there is little to negotiate further on the Centre’s part.

In the backdrop of the meeting, NSCN(IM) on Friday dug its heels in and reiterated its original demands for Greater Nagalim (including areas with Naga people in other states), a separate flag, and a separate constitution.

The NSCN(IM) had ostensibly dropped its demand on Greater Nagalim last year.

About Thursday’s meeting, a NNPG source said, “The interlocutor told us the government wants all stakeholders, including the IM, to be a part of this (peace process); that it is best for everyone to come on board and sign the agreement. What the Centre can agree on, it has already agreed to, and what the Centre cannot give at this point, it cannot give (even in future),” he said.

Quoting what Ravi said, the source said, “There is nothing left to negotiate beyond what had already been decided in October last year. All that remains is for NSCN(IM) leaders to fall in line.”

Thursday’s meeting took place at the Police Complex in Chumoukedima, Dimapur.

In a statement on Friday, the NNPG said, “The interlocutor has affirmed that GOI [Government of India] is taking forward the decision of the Naga Groups taken on October 31, 2019. The GOI has acknowledged that Naga tribes and civil society have spelt out their position on the Naga political issue, and in reciprocal manner, it is determined to fulfil the political aspirations of the Naga people. The defining hour for announcing honourable and acceptable solution is approaching and therefore both GOI and WC (NNPG) felt hat the unity of Nagas is critical at this time.”

NNPG secretary G Zhimomi told The Indian Express that the meeting with Ravi was “in preparation for the final solution.’’ Zhimomi said: “All issues were already resolved in principle before, so there was nothing we had to discuss. We have already agreed upon what needs to be done.”

In a statement on Friday, Major General Hitovi Chishi (Retd), convener of NSCN(IM) steering committee, said concessions received by the Centre so far has taken years of dialogue and have been hard won.

The NSCN(IM) stated the Framework Agreement signed in 2015 talks of “inclusive peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power”. “By ‘Inclusive’ it means all Nagas and their territories in different administrative units and political camps are to be included… Coexistence of the two entities means that Nagas and Union of India will coexist,” Chishi stated.

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