The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah faction), the largest Naga armed group in talks with the government, on Monday released a letter written by its chief Thuingaleng Muivah to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February, The Indian Express reported. In the eight-page letter, Muivah had asked for the Naga peace talks to be shifted to “a third country”.
The NSCN (I-M) in a statement said that the letter was made public to show Naga people how unresponsive the prime minister’s office was to them. “If our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangements must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country,” Muivah said.
He also asked that the talks be conducted directly at a “prime ministerial level” and without any preconditions. The final peace talks had hit a rough weather in August after both the sides hardened their positions, with the group committed to its demands for a separate Naga national flag and Constitution. The “informal talks” held in September in New Delhi have also been inconclusive.
Muivah’s letter to the prime minister mentioned how several rounds of talks under different prime ministers were held in various countries, including the United States, France, Netherlands, Bangkok, Thailand and others, before being held in New Delhi and Dimapur.
The NSCN(I-M) also criticised Nagaland Governor RN Ravi and the Ministry of Home Affairs in its letter to Modi, according to NDTV. The group alleged that efforts were made to downgrade the talks from the highest level of political dialogue.
Muivah stated that a “serious deadlock” has emerged after years of negotiations over a separate flag and Constitution.
“Today, we bring to your notice matters of serious concern regarding the activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs and its agencies including NIA and Assam Rifles. As you are well aware, 22 years of political negotiation had started at the highest, i.e prime minister-level talks without precondition and talks outside India in third countries. We had come to India on the invitation of the Government of India. We are totally shocked and surprised that even after more than two decades of political negotiation, the MHA and its agencies have become obnoxious.”— Thuingaleng Muivah
The group claimed it had agreed in 1997 to start talks with the government after New Delhi had recognised the Naga matters as political and stopped describing it as India’s “internal law-and-order issue”.
“The latest episode of the MHA, which through a missive to the Nagaland government, questioned our presence in Dimapur. We are in Nagaland to meet our own people vis –a vis peace process…if our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangements must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country.”