Northeast News: Huge trust deficit between RN Ravi and Naga groups led to his exit from Nagaland

New Delhi, Sep 10, 2021, IANS

The huge trust deficit between Nagaland Governor RN Ravi and the Naga groups reportedly led to his exit from the state as he was crossing swords with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) for the last two years.

He has been shifted to Tamil Nadu, a Rashtrapati Bhavan (President House) communiqué said on Thursday.

Ravi, an IPS 1976 batch officer from the Kerala cadre who had retired as Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau in 2012, was appointed government interlocutor for the Naga peace talks in 2014 and 2015. He signed a framework agreement with the NSCN-IM on behalf of the Centre on August 3, 2015, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2019 he was made the Governor along with his previous responsibility.

In fact the Naga peace talks began to derail in early 2020 when (NSCN-IM) leader T Muivah refused to hold any dialogue with R N Ravi following a dispute over the framework agreement signed in 2015.

It was also alleged that he twisted the Framework Agreement (FA) and misled the Standing Committee of Parliament on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue. "The fact is that the Framework Agreement is outside the purview of Indian Federation/Constitution. But in his report furnished to the Parliamentary Standing Committee he manipulated in his own narrative that was far from the actual meaning as very unambiguously worded in layman's language in the original copy of FA," said a source.

The NSCN-IM has been demanding a separate constitution and flag for the Nagas and the assimilation of all Naga inhabited areas in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

"He, as an interlocutor, had signed a framework agreement with the NSCN-IM on behalf of the Centre on August 3, 2015, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now he was tampering with its content," a source in the Naga group said.

He also said that after this NSCN leader T Muivah sought his immediate removal as the government's representative in the peace talks.

Recently, the ruling People's Democratic Alliance in Nagaland led by Neiphiu Rio had also expressed its reservation about the Independence Day speech. The alliance in a statement said that Ravi's statement was not well received by the people of Nagaland.

In his speech on August 15, Ravi had alleged that "a deeply entrenched network of vested interests has emerged during the period which has misappropriated the dividends of peace and did not allow them to reach the people."

Following the deadlock between Ravi and the NSCN (Isak Muivah), the government sources said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah also opened other channels to resume talks with the NSCN(IM) and from then on it was expected that he will be relieved of his responsibility of interlocutor.

The NSCN (I-M) had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997 and has held over 100 rounds of talks -- within and outside the country -- but nothing substantial came out as the Government could not allow them to have a separate constitution and flag.

Apart from NSCN(IM), the Centre is also separately holding peace talks with eight other Naga armed groups which came together a few years ago under the banner of "Naga National Political Groups" or NNPGs.