GUWAHATI, March 25 - The Central Government�s interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi today laid to rest the speculations about integration of Naga-inhabited areas and asserted that no such agreement has been reached with the NSCN(I-M). The Central Government is very firm on its stand on the issue and the leaders of the NSCN(I-M) are aware of the government�s stand, he said.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Ravi asserted that there is no such issue in the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN(I-M), which relates to touching the territorial integrity of any state. �I have signed the Framework Agreement on behalf of the Government of India and I know every detail of it. There is nothing about touching the territorial integrity of any state,� he asserted.
Ravi said that the Government of India has time and again clarified its stand on the NSCN(I-M) demand on integration of the Naga-inhabited areas in the states of the Northeast. �The Government of India has already made its stand clear on the issue and there is no question of changing its stand,� he said. He pointed out that during his last visit to Manipur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also publicly announced the Centre�s stand on the issue. He said the claim that there would be integration of the Naga-inhabited areas is a �blatant lie�. It is a mischievous act by some vested interest circles to create law and order problem in the Northeast, he said.
The Centre�s interlocutor further said the NSCN(I-M) has every right to demand integration of Naga-inhabited areas democratically. �The government cannot stop the leaders of the outfit from raising such a demand democratically. But the Centre�s stand on the issue is very clear and the government would not deviate from its stand,� he added.
Ravi pointed out that the NSCN(I-M) general secretary Th Muivah can read out anything from a letterhead of the outfit, but it is not the official position of the Government of India. He further said that the Centre would not touch the geographical boundary of any state on its own without the consensus of the concerned state governments and a detailed political consensus.
It may be mentioned here that a reported statement of Muivah on the territorial integrity of Naga-inhabited areas created a major controversy in the states having boundaries with Nagaland, forcing Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to assert that the Assam Government would not compromise on the territorial integrity of the State. Several other organisations have also started agitation on the issue.