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India


Modi Govt puts Naga peace talks on fast track, moots crucial meeting next week

Modi Govt puts Naga peace talks on fast track, moots crucial meeting next week

New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) The heat and dust of Jammu and Kashmir have hardly settled and the Modi government is getting engaged with Nagaland affairs and has fast paced the process for an early solution to the decades old Naga political problem.
The potent militant group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) is in negotiation with the Centre since 1997 when I K Gujral was the Prime Minister.
For its part, the Modi government inked a 'framework agreement' in August 2015.
In August this year, the Centre had appointed R N Ravi, an experienced hand in Nagaland matters and negotiator at the parleys with NSCN (IM) as Governor, and reportedly gave him a deadline of three months to works towards an earlier solution.
A series of meetings were convened by Governor Mr Ravi in last few days. On Saturday, some key representatives from the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) also held a "marathon meeting" Mr Ravi.
The Centre has directed Governor Ravi to facilitate a crucial meeting of Naga tribal groups, influential
Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and village elders Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF) in Kohima on October 18 or 19 to iron out differences, sources said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister last week himself took stock of the situation at a high-level meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval.
The sources said Governor Ravi also called on the Prime Minister and both the leaders discussed about the developments vis-a-vis Naga peace talks.
Apparently the NSCN (IM) is unhappy with 'efforts' being made by the Centre to talk to 'other Naga groups' for a formal pact.
"It should be understood that any proposed solution that betrays the Naga national issue will be repetition of the past mistakes," a statement from NSCN (IM) said on Saturday.
It also said that after 22 years long intensive negotiations since 1997, the Union Government is now trying to hijack the outcome of the talks by using "a section of people who are not mandated and do not represent the Naga people and the Naga national issue".
The NSCN (IM) has been insisting for a separate Naga flag and constitution and these are something which may not be easily acceptable to the government negotiators.
UNI DEVN SV 1006

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