After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, India’s central government has resumed peace talks with Nagaland’s separatist political party and former militant group National Council of Nagaland Isaac-Moivar (NSCN-IM). The meeting took place at Camp Hebron, the NSCN headquarters, 100 km from Dimapur, the capital of Nagaland. Top NSCN-IM leader TH Muivar has met the Delhi delegation for the first time.
AK Mishra, a former special director of India’s Intelligence Bureau, met with Muivar on behalf of the Indian government on Tuesday night. According to NSCN, the two-hour talk took place at that time.
The NSCN movement is the oldest of the various separatist movements in Northeast India. Although the NSCN signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1997, clashes between the group and Indian security forces have not stopped in various parts of north-east India. The NSCN-IME is still the strongest separatist organization after the influence of the separatist organization ULFA in Assam diminished considerably.
In order to end the conflict with the NSCN, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government started peace talks in 2015 by signing a new ceasefire agreement. The Indian government then claimed that the Naga problem had been resolved, but the NSCN refused to comply.
As a result of this incident, the NSCN-IM leaders got involved in an argument with the then mediator of the Indian government, Rabindranath Tagore. They allege that Robbie is talking ‘misleading’. The group also said, “Robi is threatening NSCN to sign the agreement before October 31, 2019.” Then in September 2020, the central government removed Robi and sent him as the governor of Tamil Nadu. Peace talks with NSCN-IM have failed.
They said the Indian government must abide by the independent flag and constitution of Nagaland. In other words, they practically demanded sovereignty, which was not possible for the Indian government to accept.
Two-and-a-half years after the incident, AK Mishra, the center’s new mediator, went to Camp Hebron and resumed talks. Over the next seven days, Mishra will also meet members of the Nagaland National Political Groups, an organization of various political parties in Nagaland, and members of a special committee of the central government.
Although peace talks have resumed, NSCN-IM has not yet moved away from the demand to uphold the constitution and the flag. As a result, it is difficult to say how far the talks will go. The NSCN, however, said it thought the talks would be positive.