Is NSCN (IM) – GoI peace talks in trouble?

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NEW DELHI, December 28 (Vision Communication): Nagaland is once again on the boil with the strong indication of a possible breakdown of 16 years long ceasefire agreement between the Centre and the NSCN(IM).

On Saturday, NSCN-IM cadres opened fire on several thousands Naga crowd of peaceful demonstrators near Gathasi designated camp area in Zunheboto district killing one civilian and seriously injuring three others.

This firing incident has put a full stop to the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN-IM.

Highly placed sources told the Vision Communications, “Centre is in no mood to continue peace talks with the NSCN-IM leaders and the ceasefire will be abrogated anytime as the NSCN-IM leaders and cadres have openly violated the ground rules of the ceasefire agreement.”    

The spark for the violence was provided by an alleged strip search incident just on the eve of Christmas at Zunheboto area involving two Naga girls. About four NSCN-IM cadres allegedly misbehaved with the girls in the name of frisking. The locals reacted sharply and demanded handing over of the culprits who were subsequently identified by the victims.

Significantly, the firing took place at a time when the NSCN-IM tops leaders General Secretary Th. Muivah and Chairman Issac Chishi Swu are camping in Delhi to resume peace talks with the Centre.

Highly placed sources confirmed the Vision Communications that since firing from the NSCN designated camp is a serious violation of the ceasefire ground rules, Centre is all set to officially announce the abrogation of the ceasefire agreement anytime in the next 24 hours.

“Centre has got all options open including officially making an announcement of the abrogation of the ceasefire agreement which was signed way back in 1997,” said a senior intelligence official wanted to remain anonymous.

However, the official further asserted that since the NSCN-IM top bosses are in Delhi, “the Government would honour their presence and not put them either under house arrest or restrain their movement for the time being. But what happens subsequently is anybody’s guess,” the official maintained.

The official maintained that the Centre and the state government would jointly take all possible steps to ensure safety and security of the citizens. Security forces are already put on high alert and Assam Rifles have been asked to rush to the spot to take control of the violent situation. Security forces are also keeping close watch on all the designated camps including the Hebron headquarter of the NSCN-IM.

Experts believe that the long-awaited solution to the six-and-a-half decade old Naga political problem is again put to backburner due to largescale extortions, fratricidal killings, selling of arms and ammunition in grey market and finally the killing and injuring of Naga civilians.

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