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Nagaland Legislators Forum extends support

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Aug 30 - The Nagaland Legislators Forum has adopted a resolution supporting the framework accord signed between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M). Majority of civil society groups of Nagaland have also extended support to the Accord and urged upon the Government of India to initiate peace process with other underground groups.

The Government of India�s interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi, recently paid a three-day visit to Nagaland and held talks with the legislators and various civil society groups to explain the details of the framework accord. He also made it clear that the Government of India is willing to engage all the underground groups of the State in the peace process.

Talking to The Assam Tribune after his return from Nagaland, Ravi, who is also the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), said that he had a four-hour meeting with the legislators of Nagaland, who are important stakeholders in the peace process. �The legislators had certain queries about the framework accord and I tried my best to respond to the best of my abilities,� he added. After detailed discussion, the Forum adopted a resolution supporting the Accord and it was decided that the legislators would educate the people of their respective constituencies about the Accord and try to mobilise public opinion in this regard.

Ravi revealed that during the visit, he held detailed talks with different civil society organisations, including Naga Ho Ho, Naga Mothers� Association, Naga Students� Federation, Forum for Naga Reconciliation, Nagaland Baptist Church Council, etc to make them aware about the Framework Accord. He pointed out that the Government wanted the peace process to be �inclusive� and efforts are being made to engage all the stakeholders in the process.

Replying to a question on the apprehensions expressed by the Naga National Council (NNC) about the Accord, Ravi said that he would like to have talks with the organisation to clear doubts in the minds of the members. He said that a few members of the NNC also attended the discussions that he had with the civil society groups.

Ravi revealed that all the civil society groups expressed the view that the other underground groups of Nagaland should also be involved in the peace process. He hoped that the pressure from the civil society would help in convincing the underground groups to come for talks. A Civil Society group from Nagaland is likely to visit Myanmar soon to put pressure on SS Khaplang, the chairman of the NSCN (K) to persuade him to rejoin the peace process.

Ravi said that the Government would like to involve NSCN (K) in the peace process. But for that, the decision has to be taken by Khaplang, who is in Myanmar. It was Khaplang, who broke away from the cease-fire agreement and it is up to him to decide whether to rejoin the process or not, he added.

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