Guwahati: The Centre is reluctant to extend the deadline of October 31 to conclude the ongoing Naga peace talks which are delayed due to the unresolved demand of the NSCN (I-M) for inclusion of Naga flag and constitution in the agreement.
Informing that Prime Minister’s envoy for Naga talks R.N. Ravi was determined to meet the deadline set for concluding the peace talks, security sources, however, admitted that the NSCN(I-M) was insisting on extending the deadline but Ravi has turned down the plea.
Pointing out that the collective leadership of the NSCN(I-M) and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) had another round of talks with Ravi on Tuesday in New Delhi, security sources said that Ravi told the Naga leadership that the timeframe of October 31 stands.
Indicating that the Centre is confident to resolve the differences, security sources said that if demand of Naga flag and constitution is sorted, the interlocutor would convene a joint meeting with the NSCN(I-M) and the NNPGs to work out the modalities before signing the final agreement.
Security sources also hinted that the ministry of home affairs is confident to take all the groups including the NSCN (I-M) on board in signing the peace accord.
It may be recalled that the NSCN (I-M) has raised the demand for Naga flag and constitution and made it clear there would be no going back on this. On the other hand, the Centre has made it clear that these demands were unacceptable as they were not included either in the Framework Agreement nor in the Preamble (with NNPGs).
However, a section of civil society groups questioned the stand of NNPGs for giving up the demand of flag and constitution, the group (NNPGs) has clarified that they have not given up yet and these issue would be pursued through democratic political process, post solution.
Ravi had a public consultative meeting with 14 Naga Tribes of Nagaland, all minority non-Nagas, Nagaland GB Federation, Church and other civil society organisations on October 18 in Kohima.
In a press statement issued on the same day, Ravi had appreciated the “political maturity and wisdom of the Naga leaders who expressed their overwhelming support in favour of a settlement without any further delay”.
In a significant development at least 22 more NSCN (I-M) leaders have left the organisation to join the NNPGs on Tuesday. This has come close on the heels of 16 NSCN (I-M) leaders including former ‘kilo kilonser’ (home minister) and current member of negotiating team of the Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM with the Centre, Hukavi Yepthomi, leaving the group to join the working committee of the NNPGs on Thursday....