A high-level delegation of the Working Committee (WC) of the NNPGs meeting interlocutor and Nagaland governor RN Ravi in New Delhi on February 24

Kohima: The working committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) expressed its opinion saying that with RN Ravi as the Interlocutor for Naga peace talks, the Indo-Naga political dialogue has exhibited serious concern and commitment with practical touch. The NNPGs said that suggesting a “new interlocutor at this time is to rewind the Indo-Naga issue back to zero”.

Through a press statement, the NNPGs said that the past interlocutors and negotiators, in mutual comfort zone, had indulged in innuendos and political gymnastics with routine hyperboles and hypothetical assumptions to sedate the Naga people.

“As years ran their course it became an alibi, stale and redundant. It was a deliberate ploy to dwell more on impossibilities rather than possibilities which has left the Nagas feeling betrayed. For a change, having understood the genesis of Indo-Naga conflict, new interlocutor Mr. R.N Ravi redefined the dynamics, looked straight in the eye, met Naga civil societies, listened to tribes and put pen to paper,” the WC NNPGs said.

It said that the present interlocutor’s commitment, depth and understanding of the Naga issue is second to none. It added “With him at the helm, the Indo-Naga conflict has taken a pragmatic, proactive turn towards finding an acceptable and honourable political solution”.

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“To suggest a new interlocutor at this time is to rewind the Indo-Naga issue back to zero. A return to same old situation employing the same old trick: burn Nagaland, ransack it, strangulate and heap more misery and suffering on the Naga public in the name of political issue,” the statement read.

While the WC NNPGs believed in “inclusivity and transparency” since day one, it claimed that it it had been brainstorming on critical issues by taking the people’s view into consideration which has been a “powerful ingredient in the ongoing political dialogue”.

It said that if the “remnant Naga Hoho desires to comment on the current Indo-Naga dialogue, it necessitates them seeking the advice and opinion of WC, NNPGs beside others”. The WC NNPGs slammed the “insidious, prejudiced and incoherent” statements issued by the Naga Hoho in recent times alleging that the “very soul of Naga Hoho has been sold and surrendered completely”.

It reminded the Naga Hoho that by mutual agreement and consent, since October 31 last year, “all formal negotiations” with both the negiating groups–NSCN(IM) and the WC NNPGs has ended. “This status quo is accepted whereby dialogue process and finalization of negotiated matters continue to this day,” it said.

It then said that without the ENPO, NTC, CNTC and NGBF, the Naga Hoho has “no centre of gravity and disbands itself”. The WC, NNPGs is extremely disturbed by the manner in which the good name of Naga Hoho is being misused by a handful of disillusioned men driven by personal ambitions, it added.

It said that a gang of covetous men have destroyed the foundation and tarnished the great vision of the founders of the the Naga Hoho. If the Naga Hoho really exists, it ought to peruse through “Agreed Position” signed between GOI and WC, NNPGs on November 17, 2017, it said. It said that the “Agreed Position” or “Preamble Agreement” as it is also referred to, is the only historical document whose contents strikingly resonates the very comforting words spoken and assured by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian Nation, to NNC leaders at Bhangi Colony, New Delhi in 1947.

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WC and the GOI went a step further and mutually agreed on the “Political and historical rights of the Nagas to self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity”. Yet, the Naga Hoho could not find any political significance in this historic GOI/WC declaration, it said.

In the three years of intensive rounds of political negotiations between the GOI and WC since 2017, it said that the Naga tribal hohos, legislators, intellectuals, concerned senior members of Naga society and so on, have been briefed and also status paper were presented. To this, it said that no negative feedback has been received from any quarter and that all sections of the people have been receptive of the roadmap towards solution.

It further said that the WC, NNPGs believes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and current Interlocutor RN Ravi, by now, realise that the Naga people have great hope in their future through enduring peaceful co-existence, as reflected in the Agreed Position.

In the last few years Naga Tribal hohos, apex civil societies, the church and Nagas citizens at large have come to understand the factual position of GOI and Nagas. All negotiating groups agreed in principle that dialogues had completed on October 31, it said.

“The WC, NNPGs will neither comment nor tutor Mr. R.N on how to play a gubernatorial role in the state of Nagaland. Naga people and history will judge him either as hero or villain over his dual role. WC, NNPGs commenting on the actions of Nagaland’s Governor will not serve the purpose,” it concluded.

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