There are reports that the The Prime Minister’s Office is going to make a move to resolve the standoff in the Naga peace talks between Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the centre’s interlocutor, and various rebel groups over the past few months and has asked the Intelligence Bureau chief to take over.
Reports are that Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar has been tasked to bring the apparently derailed talks back on track. ‘’Over the last six years RN Ravi, in his capacity as interlocutor, had been talking to various Naga groups. But in the past 10 or 11 months, things have not been going well,” a senior government official has said.
Reports from a section of media say that the official has said, the PMO has also asked IB Special Director Akshay Kumar Mishra to join the firefighting effort. The centre is believed to be particularly concerned by what appears to be a three-way feud in Nagaland – between the NSCN(IM), the largest of the rebel groups, RN Ravi and the new National Naga Political Groups (NNPG).
The fact Governor Ravi openly targeted the elected government in Nagaland, which is a BJP alliance partner, has also not gone down well. Mr Ravi, in his Independence Day speech, had said: “Nagaland is endowed with one of the finest human and natural resources. Unfortunately, today it has the dubious distinction of the worst-performing state in the country, including the northeast region, on almost all significant indicators of human development“.
The NNPG had in March urged the interlocutor to sign the delayed peace talks at the earliest “with or without” the NSCN-IM on board. Last week, NSCN(IM) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah said the centre had recognised the sovereignty of the Nagas through the 2015 agreement. The surprising statement came days after the powerful rebel group, which has been part of the 18-year peace dialogue with the centre, spoke of a “roadblock” and asked for RN Ravi’s removal as the interlocutor.
On Sunday evening the group released a statement that said: “The interlocutor carries the mandate of the Prime Minister but, since RN Ravi created an imbroglio… the Prime Minister has given mandate to continue the talk to a team of IB (officials) as a fast-track channel…”