DIMAPUR, June 30 - The Naga Students Federation (NSF) today said the recent letter of Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the interlocutor to the Indo-Naga peace process, to State 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 alleged in a release. It is also an attempt by the “appointed symbolic head of the state to overthrow and overpower a democratically elected government”, the release stated.
In his letter to Rio, Ravi said that 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 maintain law and order in Nagaland under Article 371A(1)(b).
The NSF said it represents the aspirations of Naga students and youths spread across four States and two countries, and that it would not remain blind and mute to attempts by individuals to belittle and disregard “our internationally recognised movement”. The student body also denounced the “disrespectful attitude” of Ravi towards the Naga freedom fighters.
According to the NSF, usage of 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 NSF 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 the Governor 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 so, it is a matter of shame that India has appointed a retired top cop to sit down on the same negotiating table with gangsters and extortionists, the NSF quipped.
It also 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 would prove futile.
“It is time that he takes his role as an interlocutor seriously or call it quits altogether for even with or without him, the aspiration of the Naga people shall continue to thrive,” the NSF said.