Naga issue: posting of interlocutor as Nagaland Governor unlikely to affect peace talks

The appointment of R.N. Ravi as Governor will only strengthen the ongoing negotiations, says an official

July 22, 2019 09:45 am | Updated 09:45 am IST - New Delhi:

The appointment of Naga interlocutor R.N Ravi as Nagaland Governor is unlikely to affect the ongoing talks with various Naga groups, including the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), as he will continue to spearhead the negotiations, The Hindu has learnt.

The announcement comes at a time when investigating agencies have upped the ante against the NSCN-IM, one of the largest Naga groups with which Mr. Ravi, on behalf of the Government of India, signed a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 to find a solution to the decades-old Naga issue.

“The appointment of Mr. Ravi as Governor will only strengthen the ongoing talks. It will not derail the negotiations as the Naga deal is near conclusion. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi participated in the Naga talks herself, so the new appointment will not diminish the seriousness of the talks,” said an official.

A top government official said all cases against the NSCN-IM would be monitored closely and more cases could follow. The NIA recently took over a case registered in Assam where ₹15 lakh meant to be delivered allegedly to NSCN-IM cadres was confiscated from a vehicle at Amlopatty in Dibrugarh. Four persons were arrested.

Ceasefire agreement

The NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement with the Indian government in 1997 for an indefinite period.

The Home Ministry told a parliamentary panel last year that “NSCN-IM has had the largest extortion network spanning almost all of the villages of Nagaland and has emerged as the biggest supplier of arms in the Northeast smuggled from China.”

Mr. Ravi, a 1976 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Kerala cadre, retired as Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau in 2012. He was appointed as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee in September 2014 and was subsequently made the interlocutor for Naga peace talks. He was re-designated as deputy National Security Adviser last year.

The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas. It has demanded a separate flag and a separate constitution for the Nagas. The Centre has said that there will be no disintegration of States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to merge the Naga inhabited areas with the existing State of Nagaland.

After signing an agreement with the NSCN-IM, the Centre signed a preamble in November 2017 with six Naga National Political Groups to further hold discussions to find a solution to the issue lingering on for decades.

A member of one of the Naga groups said last time the talks took place were in March. “The talks that were last held in March. We were told, it was being put on hold due to the general election but it did not resume. We are hopeful that the appointment of Mr. Ravi as an interlocutor will not impact the negotiations,” the Naga leader said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.