Taunts follow Governor’s directive to provide cover for a few extremist leaders

Nagaland governor R.N. Ravi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Taunts follow Governor’s directive to provide cover for a few extremist leaders

Security cover sought for a few of their leaders has provided ammunition for two extremist groups in Nagaland to engage in a war of words.

The Neiphiu Rio government had a week ago sought the view of the Minister of Home Affairs on Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi’s directive to the State police to provide security to the leaders of the working committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), a conglomerate of seven extremist groups.

The NNPGs justified the move saying security of a negotiating team and its leaders “is paramount during any negotiation involving a nation and people’s destiny”.

The NNPGs took a swipe at the rival Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM), for asking why the conglomerate was demanding protection from Indian security forces.

“This question is best answered by those who were being provided with 24-hour Z category security by Indian security forces and with India MP status and residence in New Delhi,” the NNPGs said.

Reacting to the barb, the NSCN (IM) said its leaders neither asked for security nor MP status from the Indian government during negotiations in New Delhi. But, it pointed out, such security arrangement reflected the Indian government’s perception about “who carried the Naga political issue and who required high profile security”.

The NNPGs had signed the Agreed Position in November 2017, two years after the NSCN (IM) signed the Framework Agreement. Both pacts are seen as a precursor to the final solution to the elusive peace process.