Centre to hold talks with NSCN-IM on Tuesday in Nagaland

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Kohima, May 31 (ANI): As part of its endeavour to bring to an end six decades of insurgency, central government negotiators will hold a fresh round of talks in Nagaland with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isac Muivah) on Tuesday.

This is the first time when talks will be held in Nagaland since a ceasefire was declared in August 1997 between the two sides.

R.S. Pandey, the Centre's interlocutor, is scheduled to meet NSCN-IM leaders in Kohima. Besides him, Ministry of Home Affairs and intelligence agencies officials are expected to participate in the negotiations.

NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah is expected to lead his faction at the talks.

There have been 55 rounds of talks between New Delhi and NSCN-IM in the last 13 years.Since 1947, thousands have died in Naga insurgent-related violence since 1947.

The NSCN-IM, however, is sceptical about the purpose behind the fresh round of talks, as it is believed that government emissaries might just seek to convince Muivah to end the deadlock in Manipur, instead of taking the peace process forward.

In a statement, the NSCN-IM has stated that the meeting should in no way be considered as political talks between the Government of India and the Nagas, adding that it will be limited to the localized issue of an individual's visit to his native village in Manipur.

In an official statement, the NSCN (IM) stated that no matter the amount of animosity, hatred and bad blood between the Manipur government and the Nagas of Manipur, emotion should not betray sanity and reason."

The Meiteis, the majority community in Manipur, and the Nagas of Manipur would "co-exist for as long as man walks on earth", it added.

Manipur is in turmoil since April. First, Naga groups residing in Manipur enforced an indefinite economic blockade protesting against the state government's decision to hold autonomous council elections.

Muivah's decision to visit Somdal, his ancestral village in Manipur's Ukhrul district, has further aggravated the situation. (ANI)

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