The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM has for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement and has accused interlocutor R.N. Ravi of deleting a key word from the original document and sharing the modified version with other Naga groups.
The agreement released by the NSCN-IM stated “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.
The NSCN-IM claimed on Tuesday that Mr. Ravi, also Nagaland Governor, “craftily deleted the word new from the original” to justify his own narrative and circulated to the other Naga groups including the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
Politically sensitive word
The NSCN claimed that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution.
Also read: Naga peace talks hit bump over Governor’s letter
The NSCN-IM, one of the largest Naga groups, signed a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 to end the decades old issue.
Mr. Ravi signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other two signatories were Isak Chishi Swu, who died in 2016 and Thuingaleng Muivah (86) who is leading the talks.
Also read: Talks with NSCN-IM remain inconclusive
The framework agreement shared as part of a detailed press statement issued by the NSCN-IM on Tuesday said, “Both sides have understood each other’s respective positions and are cognizant of the universal principle that in a democracy, sovereignty lies with the people. Accordingly, the Govt. of India and the NSCN, respecting people’s wishes for sharing the sovereign power as defined in the competencies reached an agreement on the 3rd August, 2015 as an honorable solution.”
Talks hit a rough weather
As reported by The Hindu, the Naga talks have hit a rough weather as the NSCN-IM has demanded that he be removed from the position.
In Tuesday’s statement, the NSCN-IM said Mr. Ravi insulted the NSCN negotiating team by using un-parliamentary language when he said “this can be understood even by Class VII students that it means acceptance of the Indian Constitution”.
The NSCN said till now it had refrained from publishing the agreement respecting the “tacit understanding reached between the two sides not to release to the public domain for security reasons of India”. It said Mr. Ravi took undue advantage and started modifying and manipulating the agreement to mislead the Nagas and the Centre.
The NSCM led by Mr. Muivah held a detailed meeting with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials on Monday.
Mr. Muivah has reportedly refused to meet Mr. Ravi after the latter’s letter to Nagaland Chief Minister on June 16 that “over half a dozen organised armed gangs were brazenly running their respective ‘so called governments’ challenging the legitimacy of the State government”.
The letter was followed by another order on July 7 asking officials to declare if their family members or relatives are members of any “underground organisation”.
Mr. Ravi signed a preamble in November 2017 with the NNPGs and made them a party in the peace deal lingering on for decades.
Earlier in 2017, Mr. Ravi had informed a parliamentary panel that it signed a framework agreement with the NSCN-IM after it agreed for a settlement within the Indian federation with a “special status” and that it was a departure from their earlier position of “with India, not within India”.
Demand for an undertaking from Centre
The NSCN has demanded that the Centre should come out with an undertaking that the framework agreement is still alive in its original form and “to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi” who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.
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. The Centre has said there will be no disintegration of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to merge the Naga inhabited areas with Nagaland.