NSF attacks Centre’s ‘insincere approach’ to Naga issue

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Governor Ravi writes strongly-worded letter to chief minister Rio

By: Bhadra Gogoi

DIMAPUR, June 30: The Naga Students Federation (NSF) on Tuesday said the recent letter of Nagaland governor RN Ravi, who is also the interlocutor of the Indo-Naga peace process, to chief minister Neiphiu Rio revealed the arrogant attitude and insincere approach of the Centre and its unwillingness to settle the Naga issue.

The letter put the Naga movement in bad light, the media cell of the NSF said in a release.

The federation said it is also an attempt by the “appointed symbolic head of the state to overthrow and overpower a democratically elected government”.

In his letter to Rio, Ravi said there have been “unrestrained depredations” by over half a dozen “armed gangs” who are “brazenly running their so-called governments” and challenging the legitimacy of the state. He said he can no longer tolerate the near-total collapse of the law and order machinery in the state.

Ravi said he has decided to uphold his constitutional obligation to effect law and order in Nagaland under Article 371A(1)(b).

The federation said it represents the aspirations of the Naga students’ and youths spread across four states and two countries and that it will not remain blind and mute to attempts by individuals to belittle and disregard “our internationally recognised movement”.

Saying that it will inherit the “solution”, the federation denounced and condemned what it called “disrespectful attitude” of Ravi towards the Naga freedom fighters.

According to the federation, the usage of the terminologies like “gangsters”, “extortionists” etc. by the Centre’s appointed interlocutor only seeks to undo whatever has been achieved through blood, sweat and tears of his predecessors.

It said it has lost all hopes of an honourable and acceptable solution to the vexed Naga issue “as long as someone with such minimal understanding of the issue and disrespectful attitude is at helm from the Indian side”.

The federation also alleged that Ravi himself has been responsible for the many hiccups in the peace process in his attempts to earn some personal brownie points.

It demanded that Ravi come out in the open and tell the Naga public as to whom he is referring to as “gangsters” and “extortionists” in his letter. If it is such, it is a matter of shame that the mighty India has appointed a retired top cop to sit down on the same negotiating table with the gangsters and extortionists, it added.

The federation sought to remind Ravi that the Centre had officially recognised the Naga issue as a political issue and his every single attempt to downgrade it to a state law and order problem will prove futile.

“It is time that he takes his role as an Interlocutor seriously or call it quit altogether for even with or without him, the aspiration of the Naga people shall continue to thrive,” the federation said.

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