The mediator in the peace process with Naga organizations for 24 years, RN. After Ravi’s withdrawal, now the Chief Ministers of Assam and Nagaland have also been included in this exercise to resolve the ongoing deadlock on this complex problem. Ravi formally resigned from the post of mediator recently. He has been appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, Himanta Biswa Sarma has expressed confidence that the Naga problem will be resolved soon. On the other hand, the Assam Congress has questioned the entire exercise and asked the Center to disclose the provisions of the 2015 accord. The demand for a separate constitution and flag had led to a deadlock in the Naga peace process for the past one year. The former governor of the state, RN, who was the mediator in this process. There was a lot of resentment among the Naga organizations with Ravi. However, Ravi was repeatedly claiming to resolve the impasse soon. The Naga organizations had now refused to continue talks with Ravi on the issue. After that, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had formed a team of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials to continue talks with the NSCN(IM). At present, the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau, A.K.
Of. Mishra has started talks with the Naga organization. He is likely to be formally appointed as the arbitrator in place of Ravi. But now the Center has taken the initiative to involve politicians in this matter as well. As part of this exercise, Himanta and Neiphiu Rio have held a meeting with Muivah. Sources say that RN Ravi had made public the alleged revised version of that agreement in August last year as governor. This caused great resentment among the Naga organizations. Keeping in mind the displeasure of the Naga organizations, Ravi has now been made the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Naga organizations expressed happiness over Ravi’s transfer. Along with this, Himanta, the Chief Minister of Assam and the convener of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has also been included in the process. In the peace process, Himanta and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio also met with T. Muivah, the tallest leader of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in Dimapur last week. This is the first time that the NSCN (IM) has held talks with political leaders since initiating talks with the Centre.
Although this conversation was informal. But it is believed that a political channel is being started to bring the peace process back on track. Himanta said in a post on social media after the meeting, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are determined to ensure peace in the Northeast. In this connection, we have discussed the ongoing peace talks with the Government of India, the Honorable Chief Minister of Nagaland. Discussed with NSCN(IM) representatives in Dimapur in presence of Neiphiu Rio. On the other hand, NSCN(IM) leader RH Rising said after the meeting, “All things should be started on the basis of framework agreement. We are committed to implement it. Our talks have resumed after the Kovid-19 pandemic.” He said that the Government of India has sent us a letter in which it has been said that Mishra will hold talks with our leaders. But the solution to the Naga problem should be acceptable to all sides. We cannot sign any agreement ignoring the sentiments of our cadres. Meanwhile, the Assam Pradesh Congress has questioned the decision to include Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Naga peace process, asking in what capacity is the Chief Minister talking to any organization without taking the Assembly into confidence. It is demanding to include some areas of Assam in its Greater Nagalim. State Congress President Bhupen Kumar Bora asks, “In what capacity is the Chief Minister of Assam talking to the Naga organization? Can he do so without taking the cabinet and the assembly into confidence?” It is important to mention here that NSCN has been demanding the formation of a separate state named Greater Nagalim by merging Naga-dominated areas of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh since its inception. A Framework Agreement on the issue was signed between U.S.A.
Assam Congress chief Bora says, “Himanta’s involvement in the Naga peace process has put the entire exercise in doubt. Therefore, the Center should immediately make public the provisions of the 2015 Framework Agreement.” Political observers say that RN Ravi did a better job as a mediator in the initial phase. His role had changed a bit after becoming the governor of Nagaland. He angered various organizations by making several bizarre statements on the Naga peace process. Senior journalist PC Barua says, “Restoring peace in Nagaland is a far cry at the moment. The Naga organizations are adamant on the demand for a separate flag and constitution. But the Center is not ready for this. Perhaps that is why now politicians are also being included in this exercise. But this has increased the chances of prolonging this process.