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R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 29 - The talks with Naga rebel groups are in the final stage, but in recent times, Indian security agencies have noticed that Chinese agencies are keeping a close watch on the dialogue and there is apprehension that efforts could be made by theneighbouring country to sabotage the peace process.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that of late the Chinese agencies have been trying to influence “some groups” of the Northeast, including the rebel outfits, to derail the peace process in Nagaland. For years, the Chinese agencies have been directly or indirectly helping out the rebel groups of the Northeast as the neighbouring country does not want permanent peace in the region, sources added.
“China knows very well that if permanent peace is restored in Nagaland with an amicable solution of the Naga political problem, militancy in the region would receive a severe setback. Under the circumstances, we have proof of Chinese agencies keeping a close watch on the process of talks and there are reasons to believe that efforts would be made to sabotage the process,” sources pointed out.
On the progress of the peace talks, sources said that the government is talking to both the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) and Naga National Political Groups, an umbrella body of six rebel groups separately and finally, only one accord would be signed. So far, the NSCN (Khaplang) has not expressed its desire to join the peace process and the government would not wait for a long time for the outfit to come forward for talks.
Sources revealed that most of the major issues have been sorted out during the talks with the rebel outfits, but the final date for signing of the accord has not been finalized. When pointed out that some Naga outfits are still issuing statements demanding integration of the Naga-inhabited areas and even sovereignty, sources said, “the government has made it clear that integration of the Naga areas would not be possible. The government had ruled out separation from the country long back. However, in a democratic country, any organization is free to raise any political demand.”
MHA sources also said that all the stakeholders would have to be taken on board before signing of an accord with the Naga outfits. Though Assam would not be affected in any way, there is a proposal for creation of autonomous councils in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, and for that the clearance from the respective state governments and the people at large would be required.