Rio urges Centre's urgent intervention

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Kohima, Jun 28 (UNI) Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has expressed concern over the threat on the ongoing peace process of ceasefire in the state and sought the urgent intervention of the Centre in appointing a full time Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG of NSCN-IM) and Cease Fire Supervisory Board (CFSB of NSCN-K).

Official sources said here today that Mr Rio had written to Union Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) Shivraj Patil, stating that the CFMG and CFSB had been constituted under a Chairman, who is representing the Centre to supervise the enforcement of the Cease Fire Ground Rules (CFGR), as agreed by both the factions during the Ceasefire Agreement with the Centre and establishment of proper channel of communication with both NSCN factions, whereby the role of the Chairman was underscored.

Reminding Mr Patil of the frequent inter-factional clashes between the rival factions of the NSCN during the last few months leading to loss of many lives, including civilians, as well as damage to property, Mr Rio stated such violation of the CFGR needed action by the CFMG and CFSB Chairman or by the Central and state agencies in consultation with the Chairman.

''However, when the Chairman's services were required most, the Ministry of Home Affairs had released Lt Gen (Retd) R V Kulkarni, the Chairman of CFMG and CFSB, without deciding first on his successor and allowed Mr Kumawat, Special Secretary (Inter Security) of MHA, to function as temporary Chairman with headquarters at Delhi,'' he said.

Mr Rio stressed the need for the physical presence of the CFMG and CFSB Chairman on the ground for day-to-day monitor of such factional clashes.

He also pointed out that the NSCN-IM had already opposed the temporary appointment of Mr Kumawat and even walked out of the last CFMG meeting while also threatening to boycott future CFMG meeting if their protests were not heeded.

''After decades of violent insurgency, the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement with the underground cadres had resulted in the restoration of some semblance of normalcy in Nagaland. If this hard earned peace is lost by the Centre due to its casual attitude, it would set a dangerous trend for the entire North East region which is beset with such problems in almost all the states,'' the Chief Minister said.

Mr Rio sought the urgent intervention of the MHA to see that a full time Chairman is appointed at the earliest preferably in consultation with other parties to the ceasefire.

UNI AS DPM RD1118

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