Prominet Nagaland women pressure group, Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) on Saturday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his ‘immediate attention and intervention’ on various matters concerning the State.
The NMA’s letter, among several issues, highlighted their discontentment at the recent developments with regard to the Nagaland Governor and peace interlocutor, R N Ravi’s recent letter to state chief minister Neiphiu Rio.
“Naga women have worked hard as peace makers and peacekeepers and supported the long drawn Peace Process in the hope that we can all live in peace,” the NMA stated in its letter.
However, the recent letter of the Governor to Rio has created ‘a deep trust deficit’ in the peace process, the NMA said, adding that in such a crucial time, it is ‘unbecoming’ of the Governor as the peace interlocutor of the Naga peace talks, to refer to the Naga Political Groups as mere ‘armed gangs’, when a political negotiation for peace is ongoing, stated reports.
It also alleged that, ‘the Interlocutor has been unable to bring the Naga Political Groups together for an official peace dialogue in resolving the Naga Issue, for reasons best known to him’.
Due to the inability to do the same in the interest of peace, the NMA held the Governor accountable for the ‘fragility of the peace process we are facing now’.
The Association also expressed resentment at the “profiling of Nagas,” and termed the move to make state government employees issue self declaration of their relationship with cadres of the Naga Political Groups as ‘highly objectionable’.
It reminded the Prime Minister that the NMA has been working over the decades to bring peace and an end to the armed conflict.
However, now we are faced with a situation where the Interlocutor who is also the Governor of Nagaland “is bent on threats and hounding the same Naga Political Groups, with whom he is supposed to negotiate and conclude the Peace Talks,” the NMA stated.
It alleged that the Governor’s ‘disrespect for the Naga people and women, in the midst of such crucial dialogue is also obvious,’ disclosing that the Governor had turned down the official request of the NMA for an appointment on two different occasions.
Taking a strong exception to the extension of the Disturbed Area Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state by the Central Government, the NMA said that such a move in the midst of ongoing peace talks is ‘most unfortunate’.
It reiterated its earlier demand for the repeal of AFSPA, to usher in an era of peace.
It also attributed the ‘large scale’ spread of COVID-19 from the camps of the Armed Forces in the state to the ‘heavy movement of security forces into the State in the midst of the pandemic’.