The NSCN-IM said appointment of former Intelligence Bureau special director AK Mishra as the Government of India’s representative has finally set in motion the Indo-Naga political talks. 

“With the appointment of AK Mishra as the new interlocutor to replace the most despised interlocutor Mr. RN Ravi, the way forward for the Indo-Naga political talk has been finally set in motion,” the outfit said in the editorial of its news bulletin, Nagalim Voice, for September released on Thursday evening. 

According to reports, though the Government of India has not officially appointed Mishra as the interlocutor after the Naga talks were said to be concluded on October 31, 2019, he would continue to engage in talks with Naga political groups to arrive at a final agreement.   

Mishra returned to the national capital on Thursday after meeting with NSCN-IM leadership, leaders of seven Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio during his three-day visit to Nagaland. 

The NSCN-IM had signed the ‘Framework Agreement’ with the Government of India on August 3, 2015, while the working committee of the NNPGs signed the ‘Agreed Position’ on November 17, 2017. 

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Ravi, who was also the former Nagaland governor, resigned as the interlocutor of Naga peace talks on Wednesday after assuming charge as Tamil Nadu governor. According to reports, Ravi’s resignation has been accepted by the Government of India. 

The NSCN-IM was at loggerheads with Ravi over his handling of the Naga talks. The outfit had demanded that he be removed as the interlocutor as the peace process was headed towards a ‘nauseating end’ because of his ‘mischief’. 

“For too long the formal Indo-Naga political talk has been stalled on account of NSCN’s irreconcilable relation with Ravi,” the editorial stated. 

It said during the course of Indo-Naga political talk, he exhibited undesirable and dominant trait which exposed that he does not have the right temperament for the challenging job as an interlocutor. He was not only arrogant but also a bigoted advocate who would not restrain himself to abuse the historical and political rights of the Naga people, thereby distinguished himself as an irreconciliable opponent of the NSCN and the Naga people, the editorial alleged. 

It added that Ravi gained notoriety for his closeness with a bunch of ‘yes-men’ Naga civil society groups but visibly undermined the apex bodies like the Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights and Global Naga Forum that have the temerity to question and tell him the truth and the way forward in accordance with the Naga people’s aspirations. 

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It said Mishra has now been given enormous task to pick up the loose end of the Indo-Naga political talks messed up by his predecessor. 

“The way forward has to be taken care of very cautiously keeping in mind the sentiments of the Naga people with a strong attachment to their political identity symbolise by the Naga national flag and constitution (Yehzabo),” the editorial said. 

The NSCN-IM reminded Mishra that Ravi paved his own exit from the Indo-Naga political talk on account of his ‘irresponsible behaviour’ and ‘disrespect’ to the NSCN talk team. “Naturally, the inevitable consequences ensued,” it added.   

The working committee of NNPGs, in a release, on Wednesday expressed hope that with the appointment of Mishra as the government of India’s representative, the Naga people’s aspiration will be finally fulfilled. 

During its meeting with Mishra on Wednesday, the committee made him aware that the ‘Agreed Position’ remained an “incomparable political document reaffirming Naga political and historical rights, guided and empowered by the Naga tribes, traditional institutions like Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation, the church and other Naga civil societies”. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: