In anticipation that a Naga peace agreement may be signed soon, the Nagaland government has cancelled the leaves of bureaucrats and police personnel, and asked them to join their duties. The development comes after the Naga talks interlocutor R.N. Ravi said that the central government will not extend the talks which is scheduled to be concluded by October 31. The talks with Naga separatist organisation NSCN is going on for 22 years, but now the government has decided that it can’t go on forever.
On Monday, the Nagaland DGP officer issued a wireless message banking all kinds of leaves for police personnel. The chief secretary’s office issued a similar order to all deputy commissioners and administrative officers to remain in their stations and recall all officers under them on leave, except those on medical or maternity leave. The Nagaland CM’s office also issued strict instructions to the district magistrates to not leave their headquarters.
Although the government has decided not to continue talks further the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland remains adamant in their demands of a separate flag and separate constitution. This means a peace agreement could be signed without the NSCN (IM), which could lead to a law and order situation in the state. This is another reason for cancelling the leaves of police and administration personnel.
Seven Naga organisations are engaged in talks with the central government and except NSCN (IM), the rest are ready to end the talks and sign a peace agreement. NSCN (IM) has ruled out dropping the demands of flag and constitution, while the union government’s interlocutor and Nagaland governor RN Ravi has dismissed the demands. He said that the separatist organisation is delaying the peace negotiations. “Endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable,” he had said informing that the government is in no mood to extend the talk process any further.
The NSCN(IM) had signed a framework agreement with the central government in August 2015. While NSCN(IM) claims that separate flag and constitution were promised by the government in the framework, the government has denied it. On October 18, RN Ravi convened a meeting with various Naga organisations and said that NSCN(IM) has been misleading and lying to the people. He explained the content of the framework in the meeting and said that it only talks of power-sharing and does not mention flag and constitution.
In the meeting, governor Ravi also mentioned various demands for solution that included an inclusive a Pan-Naga Hoho for all Nagas in the northeast dealing with cultural, social and traditional matters; regional autonomous state councils for Nagas of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with independent funding and decision making, and a minor council for Nagas of Assam.
NSCN (IM) has been fighting for a ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim, comprising areas from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam, apart from Nagaland. Union government has made it clear that Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam will not be split to merge Naga inhabited areas of these states with Nagaland.