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What is the news?
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi resigned as interlocutor for the Naga peace talks. The government is understood to be unhappy over the handling of the Naga peace process by Ravi over the past year and a half, during which time he disagreed openly with the insurgent group NSCN(IM).
Naga sources have said the NSCN(IM) views Ravi’s removal as Governor of Nagaland and interlocutor as a victory.
What is the Naga peace process?
It refers to ongoing talks between the Indian government and Naga insurgent groups, in particular the NSCN(IM), since 1997 with the aim to sign a Naga Peace Accord.
|Read this first: How has the Naga peace process evolved?|
What are the issues involved?
Sources in the security establishment say the enthusiasm with which the framework agreement was announced led to unreasonable expectations of an imminent Accord.
The Naga issue is very complex, and the NSCN(IM) is in a delicate position. It is led by a Tangkhul from Manipur, for whom it is difficult to abandon the demand for a Greater Nagalim. But India cannot accept that demand, and a middle path has to be found, which may take some time.
Ravi’s open criticism made the NSCN(IM) publicly harden its position.
The move to appoint Ravi as Governor too, did not go down well with the IM. And Ravi’s enthusiasm in matters of governance was taken by the state government as interference.
What is the way forward?
The government has appointed former IB officer Mishra as the new pointsperson for talks. He could be formally appointed the new interlocutor, and has been talking to Naga groups since January 2020.
It is important to understand that there cannot be an accord without the NSCN(IM). It continues to get young recruits and wields considerable influence in the region. The idea is to slowly bring them to accept what India can give.
One of Mishra’s tasks would also be to delicately close the gap between the IM and NNPGs, which shared a good relationship with Ravi.
Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: Why has peace process for Naga Accord been stuck, what is the way forward?” published in The Indian Express on 25th Sep 2021.