New Delhi, Oct 10: Giving a boost to the Naga peace process, the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) will meet here today to hold the next round of peace talks.
During the meeting, the discussions will be held on several issues including the agreed cease-fire ground rules, inter-factional clashes and arson committed by the outfit in Nagaland.
According to sources, the outfit will also raise the issue of implementation of cease-fire ground rules.
The meeting is being held for the first time after both the Centre and the NSCN-IM had extended the ongoing ceasefire indefinitely with effect from August 1, 2007.
Naga leaders have been holding talks with the Central Government since 1997 when the ceasefire came into existence.
The ceasefire was first declared in Nagaland in 1997. The truce has been extended every 12 months since then, except in 2005, when it was renewed for just six months at the insistence of the rebels and further extended by another six months in February 2006.
Rebel Naga groups have been demanding unification of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur to form a Greater Nagalim.
Despite the continuing cease-fire between the Government and the militant outfits, Nagaland continues to witness factional violence. Unabated clashes continue between the two warring factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) -- Isak-Muivah and Khaplang.
According to the Institute for Conflict Management, over 250 people, including civilians, security personnel and militants, have been killed in violence in the State between 2001 and 2005.
However, the cease-fire, beginning August 1997, has led to a significant reduction in insurgency-related fatalities in Nagaland, with 103 fatalities in 2001 and 40 in 2005.