In a major setback to the Naga peace talks, 6 Naga rebel groups excluding the NSCN-IM have suspended the ongoing dialogue with the government of India, following a raid by the paramilitary Assam rifles at the residence of one of their top leaders in Jotsoma, few kilometres away from Kohima on June 2.
The decision to suspend the talks was taken by the working committee of these 6 rebel groups who had come together about a year ago under a common platform called Naga National Political Groups or the NNPG.
In a statement, the NNPG said the Assam Rifles action raises questions on the issue of crust on the government of India. The raid was conducted at the residence of the NNPG working committee Co-Convener, V Nagi, who is also the General Secretary of the Naga National Council. Significantly, the next round of negotiations with the NNPG was scheduled for June 7.
Meanwhile, reacting to this development, the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) said that the raids has created a share of distrust between the government of India and the Working Committee of the NNPGs, which is a matter of serious concern.
The NTC has urged the centre to come out with clear policies without any ambiguity if at all it intends to fulfill its commitment for an early solution to the vexed Naga problem. The Council has justified the Working Committee’s decision to keep peace talks on hold for the fact that negotiations have to be wholesome and not double standard.
The Naga Tribes Council is also critical while maintaining that the raids would provoke the prominent leaders of the NNPGs who are officially engaged with the Government of India. The NTC further stated that the NNPG leaders, who upholds the principles of ceasefire deserve better treatment rather than doubting and undermining their position.
The Council has also asked the government to clear its stand on the raids that may derail the peace process.