NSCN (IM) says Interlocutor a ‘liability’, calls for replacement

A screenshot of the ‘manipulated’ Framework Agreement as released by the NSCN (IM) on August 11. The NSCN (IM) alleged that the Interlocutor removed the word ‘New’ from the underlined section.

A screenshot of the ‘manipulated’ Framework Agreement as released by the NSCN (IM) on August 11. The NSCN (IM) alleged that the Interlocutor removed the word ‘New’ from the underlined section.

•    Releases copy of ‘manipulated’ Framework Agreement
•    Tells GoI to come out with an undertaking that FA is still alive in its original form

Dimapur, August 11 (MExN):  The NSCN (IM) on August 11 came down heavily on the Government of India (GoI) Interlocutor for the Indo-Naga political Talks and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, stating that he has become a ‘liability.’ 

Listing the Interlocutor’s ‘misdoings’, the NSCN (IM) stated that  the talks is in simmering tension and reaching the tipping point because of the Interlocutor’s  “vitriolic attack on Naga issue.”

“All the hard work of 23 years of Indo-Naga political talks having passed through six successive prime ministers is coming to nauseating end because of the mischief that keeps boiling in the hands of this interlocutor who has become more a liability than anything,” the NSCN (IM) said.

Framework Agreement ‘manipulated’
In what could be the first time the much hyped Framework Agreement (FA) between the NSCN (IM) and the GoI has been revealed in the public domain, the NSCN (IM) in its statement, provided a copy of the FA which it said, had been ‘manipulated’ by Ravi, by omitting a single word which made all the difference.

It said that the Interlocutor had been under their scanner for quite some time “when he twisted the Framework Agreement and misled the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue.”

The group accused him of committing a breach of confidential documents “by circulating the doctored Framework Agreement and Competencies to the Naga leaders that he favored after removing a word “new” that virtually changed the meaning of a sentence in the Framework Agreement.”

Clarifying its stand for refraining from publishing the FA, the NSCN (IM) said it was out of respect of the ‘tacit understanding’ reached between the two sides not to release to the public domain for security reasons of India.

However, the NSCN (IM) claimed that the Interlocutor took “undue advantage and started modifying and manipulating the FA in his own narratives which began to mislead the Nagas as well as the GoI.”

 “For public scrutiny we are constrained to furnish his modified Framework Agreement by removing “new” a single word to suit his interpretation,” the NSCN (IM) said.

Maintaining that the FA is outside the purview of Indian Federation/Constitution, the NSCN (IM) said that Ravi, in his report furnished to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, ‘manipulated’ the FA “in his own narrative that is far from the actual meaning” in the original copy of FA.

It cited the  parliamentary report 213, Chapter III Naga Peace Accord index number 3, 1 clause 3.1.4, which read “In 2015, the GoI reached an understanding with the NSCN (IM) which agreed for settlement within Indian Federation with special status. The Interlocutor informed the committee that this was a departure from their earlier position of ‘with India’, not ‘within India’ and the GoI called it Framework Agreement and signed it,” the NSCN (IM) stated.

 Again, clause 3.1.18 stated that “Framework Agreement was just about the recognition of uniqueness of Naga history by GoI and an understanding that inclusive settlement will be within the Indian Federation with due regard to the uniqueness of the Naga history. However, the interlocutor stated that it was implied in the agreement that some special arrangement will have to be made for the Nagas,” it added.

The NSCN (IM) alleged that the Interlocutor removed the word “new” from the original copy and circulated it to the 14 tribe leaders, NNPGs, NTC and Nagaland GB Federation and portrayed the NSCN on the wrong side.

“Today, this misplaced interpretation of “it will provide for an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities” has become the point of conflict that delayed the process for solution,” the NSCN (IM) claimed.

It stressed that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers).

“Further, “New relationship” strongly indicates outside the purview of Indian Constitution. When “new” is removed there is room for misinterpreting it as under Indian Constitution,” it explained.

‘The tipping point’
“The tipping point,” it said, came when “he ordered the Nagaland state government to issue office memorandum requiring all state government employees to self-declare their relations with the “Naga underground groups”.

“This is the bone of contention,” the NSCN (IM) stated, adding that “such outmoded policy that does no longer fit into the present scheme of things to end a century old Naga political issue.”

It further said that a person who wants to turn the clock back on the Naga issue “by forcibly making it into “law and order issue” cannot be expected to recapture Naga people’s imagination to bring solution that is honorable and acceptable.”

While expressing gratitude to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who guided and supervised the signing of the historic Framework Agreement, the NSCN (IM) maintained that the “very doings of his representative Ravi has cast a huge trust deficit” and termed the Interlocutor’s role as “nothing short of disowning the Framework Agreement.”

“The issue is now in the court of the Government of India that should come out with an undertaking that FA is still alive in its original form and to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years,” the NSCN (IM) stated.