Guwahati: The ongoing negotiation to take NSCN (I-M) on board failed to make any headway on Wednesday and talks between Prime Minister’s envoy R.N. Ravi and collective leadership of NSCN (I-M) led by Th. Muivah were postponed for Thursday.
Informing that NSCN (I-M) was still adamant on their demand for separate flag and constitution, security sources told this newspaper that major issues that are being discussed included the process and roadmap for surrender of arms.
Indicating that consensus on issue of surrendering arms by the military wing of NSCN(I-M) is yet to be arrived, security sources said that NSCN (I-M) has revived the demand of separate flag and constitution which was almost settled during the talks.
Pointing out that the government was reluctant to extend the deadline for concluding the Naga talks, security sources said that Ravi and the NSCN (I-M) leaders would be meeting once again on Thursday and try to iron out differences to create consensus.
Meanwhile, with the Centre sticking to deadline of October 31 to conclude the protracted Naga political problem, the Assam, Nagaland and Manipur governments have taken steps to meet any eventuality and have put their respective police forces on “high alert”.
Security sources in Kohima said that the Nagaland government has directed all deputy commissioners of the districts and administrative officers to remain in their place of posting and within their jurisdiction till further orders. The Nagaland police headquarters has issued an order banning all kinds of leaves and directed all unit commanders to recall all officers and personnel on leave immediately except those on medical leave.
In neighbouring Manipur, where Nagas have a sizeable presence, security forces in the state have also been put on high alert and a large number of security forces, including women personnel have been deployed at important areas including near the Raj Bhavan in Imphal to thwart any “unwanted activities”, a top state government official said.
The Assam government has also alerted the state police forces in the district bordering Nagaland and intensified security vigil in most of the vulnerable areas including highways connecting Nagaland.
Apart from the collective leadership of NSCN (I-M), the working committee of NNPGs and several civil society and church leaders are also camping in New Delhi in anticipation of a solution within the set timeframe of October 31.
Meanwhile, the opposition Naga People's Front said it cannot set an ultimatum on the negotiating parties of Naga political issue.