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Views of all stakeholders will be considered: Centre

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 1 - The Government of India has asserted that the views of all the stakeholders, including those of the neighbouring States would be taken into consideration before finalising the agreement for a political solution of the Naga problem.

As the NSCN(I-M) has not yet given up the demand for amalgamation of the Naga-inhabited areas, the people of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh were feeling apprehensive that their areas would be included in the greater Nagalim. A majority of the people of the districts, which are still under the Disturbed Areas Act because of militant activities, are not comfortable with the demand of the NSCN, and to remove the apprehensions from the minds of the people, the Centre�s interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi, who is also the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), had a two-day consultation with the people of those three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, in Dibrugarh.

Talking to The Assam Tribune before returning to Delhi this afternoon, Ravi said that in the last two days, he had detailed talks with more than 60 persons from various walks of life, including students, village heads, tribal leaders and others of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts. The framework of the agreement signed with the NSCN(I-M) was explained to them in detail during the discussions. �We assured them that the Government of India would give due consideration to the views of all the stakeholders and the governments of the neighbouring States before taking any decision,� he added.

Ravi said that the Government had all along being saying that the solution should be inclusive and that is why detailed talks were held with different civil society groups of Nagaland and the public representatives of the State. The Government is also taking the views of the people of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh as a part of the scheme for an inclusive solution.

The Centre�s interlocutor refused to divulge the details of the feelings expressed by the civil society groups of Arunachal Pradesh, but revealed that a majority of those who met him in the last couple of days, were in favour of creation of autonomous councils in their areas.

Replying to a question, Ravi said that it might take some more time to finalise the agreement with the NSCN(I-M) on the basis of the framework agreement as the views of all the stakeholders are being taken into consideration. He also said that the Government would not wait for an indefinite period for the NSCN(K) to come back to rejoin the peace process. �The Government would like the outfit to come to the negotiation table, but at the same time, no one can wait for an indefinite period,� he added.

Ravi said that a civil society group went to Myanmar to impress upon the NSCN(K) leaders to rejoin the peace process in the greater interest of the development of the Naga community. Now, it is up to the leaders of the NSCN(K) to decide whether they would like to join the peace process or not, he added.

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