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Interlocutor buzz irks Nagas

Imphal, Aug. 21: Naga organisations in both Nagaland and Manipur have opposed the appointment of R.N. Ravi, a former director of Intelligence Bureau, as the Centre’s interlocutor for talks on the Indo-Naga issue.

The Naga Hoho, the apex body of the Nagas in Nagaland and the United Naga council (UNC), the apex organisation of the Nagas in Manipur, have sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month opposing Ravi’s appointment.

The Naga organisations were reacting to media reports that Ravi would be appointed as the next interlocutor for talks with the NSCN (I-M).

Till recently, Ajit Lal, chief of joint intelligence committee who retired recently had temporary charge of interlocutor for the Naga talks.

“A person who is critical of the Centre’s ceasefire with the Naga political groups when the very purpose of signing a ceasefire is to bring about a solution, will not facilitate solution but will become a part of the problem,” the memorandum said.

The groups are opposed to Ravi because of his two articles that appeared in a national daily in 2012 and another this year on the NSCN (I-M) talks. Going by the articles Ravi wrote and placed in the public domain, it was clear that he showed disrespect to the Centre’s “declared recognition” of the “unique history” of the Nagas and views the situation only from a law and order perspective.

In the articles, Ravi wrote that a deal with only one group would not bring lasting peace in Nagaland. The memorandum said the report of Ravi’s appointment “has come as a damper to the spirit of our people”.