After scrapping Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Narendra Modi government has set a target of three months for signing a final agreement for solving the decades-long conflicts in Nagaland. Nagaland governor and interlocutor for Naga peace talks, R N Ravi stated that the Prime Minister has asked him to conclude the talks within three months for signing a final agreement.
‘Three months is not a short time since we have been negotiating for the past 22 years. We have resolved all substantive issues, including powers that belong to the Naga people,’ said Ravi. This development comes amid speculation in Nagaland that the Modi government might withdraw Article 371 (A), under which Nagaland enjoys special powers and protection.
Under this provision, no Act of Parliament with respect of religious or social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources is applicable to Nagaland, unless the State Assembly decides so by a resolution.
The process for finding a permanent solution to the decades-long conflict began in 1995, with the signing of the Paris Agreement. NSCN (IM), the rebel group leading the insurgency, signed a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997. Ravi met various stakeholders in Nagaland to find ‘an inclusive agreement’ but sources have speculated that the process got stuck after Naga groups demanded a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland