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MHA asks for details of Naga accord from Centre’s interlocutor

NEW DELHI: A day after the Centre’s interlocutor for talks with NSCN(IM), R N Ravi, briefed the home ministry brass on the historic Naga accord signed earlier this week, the ministry formally asked him to share details of the terms of agreement. The request was made after the Army approached the home ministry requesting clarity on the contours and import of the ‘peace accord’ signed by Ravi and NSCN(IM) general secretary T Muivah.

Ravi, while briefing Home Minister Rajnath Singh and home secretary L C Goyal on Thursday, had said that the Naga ‘accord’ was really a “framework agreement” on how the two sides would proceed with setting the final terms of a permanent settlement.

Incidentally, Ravi offered his clarifications verbally and did not place any papers or a copy of the ‘framework agreement’ before the home minister.

However, faced with queries from the north-eastern states and various stakeholders like the Army, which has a heavy deployment in Nagaland, seeking clarity on terms of the accord, the home ministry has now asked for a written account from Ravi. “Parliament is in session and the issue may be raised by one MP or the other…we need to be clear on what exactly has been agreed to between the Centre and NSCN(IM),” said a home ministry official.

According to sources, the ‘framework agreement’ announced on Monday essentially improves upon a 2011 understanding in that it sets aside the idea of ‘shared sovereignty’ and makes sovereignty completely non-negotiable. Also, the pact excludes the possibility of any compromise on territorial integrity of states like Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh while accommodating the concerns of Nagas living there. It also speaks of disarming and decommissioning of NSCN(IM) militants, though its timeframe and procedures will be subject of further negotiations.