NEW DELHI: The talks on the much-anticipated Naga peace accord could not be concluded on Thursday, the scheduled deadline to clinch it. The Centre on Thursday said it is yet to conclude talks with Naga insurgent groups and will consult all stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh before finalising any settlement.
The government’s interlocutor for Nagaland RN Ravi also said that the prominent insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak- Muivah) [NSCN-IM] had come on board for the talks.
It is not clear if the accord would be signed before November 2 when PM Narendra Modi leaves for Thailand, or upon his return.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Union Home Ministry said it has come to the government’s notice that a lot of rumours and misinformation is being spread in the media, including social media, that the final Naga settlement has been arrived at and will be announced soon. “This is creating anxiety and concern in some parts of the country. It is clarified that before any settlement is arrived at with Naga groups, all stakeholders including states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will be duly consulted and their concerns will be taken into consideration. No credence needs to be given to such rumours and incorrect information,” the statement said.
Earlier in the day, rumours were rife that government had agreed to the demands of a separate Naga flag and separate Constitution but with several conditions on where and how the flag could be hoisted. The central government had in earlier talks already rejected the NSCN-IM’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas — located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three northeastern states have also opposed it.
Meanwhile, normal life was paralysed in many parts of Manipur on Thursday due to “cease-work” stir called in support of the demand that the state’s territorial integrity and administrative set up should not be affected by the Naga peace talks.
The protestors, mostly women, went out of their homes spontaneously and took out rallies in different parts of the Imphal Valley.