Ravindra Narayan Ravi on Saturday took oath as the governor of Tamil Nadu, PTI reported. Ravi served as the governor of Nagaland between July 2019 and September and has been the interlocutor of the Naga peace talks since 2015.
He succeeded Banwarilal Purohit who is now the governor of Punjab.
Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee administered the oath of office to Ravi at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
Ravi served as the special director of the Intelligence Bureau till 2012, following which he was appointed the chairperson of the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2014 for three years.
In 2015, the Centre appointed him as an interlocutor when the government signed a framework agreement for a settlement of the Naga conflict with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah) – the largest of the Nagaland armed groups.
The demand of separatist groups for a sovereign Naga homeland gave rise to militancy that started six decades ago.
In 2017, the scope of the agreement broadened when Ravi included six other Naga armed groups, now called Naga National Political Groups, in the talks. He helped in signing a second agreement with the working committee formed by these groups on November 17, 2017.
The talks were temporarily paused for two years and resumed again in 2019 when Ravi was appointed as the governor of Nagaland.
In October 2019, the NSCN (IM) agreed to sign a peace accord without a separate Naga constitution and with a “conditional flag” that can only be allowed for non-governmental purposes.
However, the Naga peace talks were back on the table in March after the NSCN(IM) accused Ravi of making “reckless statements”.
The accusations came three weeks after Ravi said in the Nagaland Assembly that the political negotiations have concluded, and that there was a need to move swiftly towards a “final solution”.
“It is a matter of regret that his [Ravi’s] role as interlocutor is nothing less than disparaging and dismal,” the group had said.
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim added that it would not sign any agreement that is lacks “mutual standards” that were agreed on. It said that Ravi should be “cautious about every single word he utters” about the matter.
The Centre is set to resume the Naga talks in Dimapur on September 20, The New Indian Express reported on Saturday.
The discussion will be led by retired Intelligence Bureau Director AK Mishra. There has been no clarification on whether Ravi will continue to be a part of the talks.