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NSCN (I-M) set to resume talks with New Delhi; says it is ‘re-opening of another chapter’

Neiphiu Rio and some of his cabinet ministers at his residence in Dimapur with Himanta Sarma.

With reference to Assam chief minister Himanta Sarma’s visit to Dimapur to meet the Naga political group, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio maintained that Sarma was roped in as one of the facilitators for the “peace talk now leveled to a political talk”

By Imna Longchar, TFM Special Correspondent

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday informed that the NSCN (I-M) has now agreed to go ahead and resume its talks with New Delhi.

Rio disclosed this after a meeting between the NSCN (I-M) chief Th Muivah and Nagaland state functionaries at the Police Complex, Chumukedima, Dimapur.

Bringing in the message sent by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressing his positive reaction to the government of India’s willingness to resume the talks, Rio said that the home minister shared his views on bringing a lasting solution to the Naga issue at the earliest.

“Whatever had gone wrong, let us forgive and forget and move forward for an early solution”, Rio said. With reference to Assam chief minister Himanta Sarma’s visit to Dimapur to meet the Naga political group, Rio maintained that Sarma was roped in as one of the facilitators for the “peace talk levelled to a political talk.”

Touching upon the “letters” purportedly written by the NSCN (I-M) Ato Kilonser on February 25, 2020, followed by another on June 12 this year, to the Prime Minister of India, and which have been referred to and the later signed by the Home Secretary, Rio said that AK Mishra has been authorized to resume the talk with the NSCN (I-M).

In this regard, Rio said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is “very keen” on resolving the protracted Naga issue so that peace, tranquillity, economic opportunities and development could take place for the growth of the state.

Earlier in the day, Himanta Sarma also held a discussion with NSCN (I-M) and the other representatives in the presence of Neiphiu Rio in Dimapur.

The Assam chief minister travelled to Dimapur as the government of India resumed its talk with the Naga political negotiation teams.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Neiba Kruno in a tweet has also informed that both NDPP and BJP also met Sarma and discussed on re-strengthening of relationship between the two parties and way forward besides discussing key political issues.

Meanwhile, it was reported that post the “crucial meet” at Chumikedima, Sarma headed towards Niathu Resort, 7th Mile Dimapur, where he held another meeting with Nagaland’s deputy chief minister, Y Patton, and BJP State president Temjen Imna Along. It was also reported that the new interlocutor AK Mishra, was also present during the meeting.

Earlier, upon arrival, Sarma headed to Rio’s residence at Sovima, Dimapur, with other ministers including BJP national spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon and minister Kaito Aye.

Tuesday’s meeting between Muivah and Sarma assumes significance as it came days after the exit of former interlocutor to Naga peace talk and Nagaland governor RN Ravi.

‘Re-opening of another chapter’ says NSCN (I-M)

The much hyped closed door “negotiation meet” on Monday at Police Complex, Chumukedima, between the NSCN (I-M) leaders led by Ato Kilonser Th Muivah and the recently appointed government of India’s representative, AK Mishra drew the attention of political watchers across Nagaland.

Terming the meeting that lasted more than an hour different from the group’s earlier sittings with the former interlocutor RN Ravi, the NSCN (I-M) had made its stance clear that the solution to the protracted Naga issue should be based on the “Framework Agreement”.

Though both Muivah and Mishra did not address the media after the meeting, NSCN (I-M) leader RH Raising, while speaking to a local news channel said “any settlement” at present would be “transitional”. He said “our brothers in different camps could be part of the solution” and reiterated that NSCN (I-M) was not demanding “the flag or the constitution” but was pointing out that the Naga constitution and flag were due to be given recognition.

Raising emphasised that a lasting solution without the recognition given to the flag and Naga constitution would be impossible. It was also reported that the NSCN (I-M) termed the new development as “re-opening of another chapter”. The group however regretted the fact that repeated incidents of “factionalism and division” have turned the “prime minister level talks” to the “interlocutor level talks”.

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