GUWAHATI, AUGUST 27: The Government of India is firm on its decision of not extending the deadline of September for signing of the peace agreement with rebel groups of Nagaland as “no substantive issue is left to be discussed.”
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that the Government has not yet zeroed in on a date for signing of the accord, but the talks would not be carried on beyond September.
Sources said that the ball is in the court of the leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) as the Government has already made its stand clear on all the issues. “The Government has clearly stated what it can offer and it is up to the leaders of the NSCN(IM) to decide whether to accept the same or not. But the Government is in no mood to keep the issue hanging for a long time,” sources added.
It may be mentioned here that the Government had earlier set a deadline of October 31 last year for signing of the accord, but the date was postponed because of requests by the NSCN (IM) and outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic delayed the process. The leaders of the outfit are now in New Delhi and they are having talks with officers of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). But official sources said that no substantive issue is being discussed. After the NSCN (IM) had alleged that the Centre’s Interlocutor RN Ravi, who is also the Governor of Nagaland, was “autocratic”, no talk was held between the Interlocutor and the leaders of the militant outfit.
Sources revealed that the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), an umbrella body of 7 militant outfits of Nagaland as well as leaders of most of the tribal organizations are ready to sign the agreement with the Government. However, the Government is keen to ensure that all the stakeholders sign the accord for lasting peace. According to reports available with the Government of India, majority of people of Nagaland, as well as the tribal groups, are not interested in dragging the issues and they are in favour of early solution. “But some leaders of the NSCN (IM) are delaying signing of the accord by raising one issue or other. But the Government is clear that no one would be allowed to blackmail the Government with threat of gun,” sources asserted.
For years, talks were held only with the NSCN (IM) but after coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that talks would have to be inclusive and all the stakeholders have to be taken on board. The efforts to bring all the stakeholders on board resulted in the NNPG joining the peace process and talks with the group have been completed.