Critics happy as RN Ravi moved out of Nagaland as TN governor

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Nagaland government and insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) may feel relieved that Governor RN Ravi has been moved out of the state.

For Ravi, his appointment as the Tamil Nadu Governor is no less than a promotion given that he will now serve in a more important state.

He will continue to serve also as the Centre’s interlocutor in the Naga peace talks – at least for now. Earlier, sections of the Naga society and the NSCN-IM had demanded his replacement in that position.

If the Nagaland government was unhappy with him for his alleged interference in its affairs, the NSCN-IM was livid with him over the manner in which he was handling the “Naga political issue”.

It was purportedly based on the Governor’s instruction that the state’s then Chief Secretary had issued instructions on July 7 last year whereby all administrative heads and heads of departments were directed “to obtain information in a self-declaration form from all government servants under his/her department/office regarding (their) family members and relatives in the underground (read insurgent) organisations.”

In June that year, in a hard-hitting letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Ravi had expressed resentment over “unrestrained depredations by over half a dozen organised armed gangs, brazenly running their respective so-called governments.”

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His reference was to the parallel governments which the state’s myriad extremist groups run.

Incidentally, Ravi had become the toast of the town in the aftermath of the Centre’s signing of the Framework Agreement in 2015 with the NSCN-IM – 18 years since the outfit had entered into a ceasefire. He was accorded a grand welcome by the Nagas following his appointment as the Governor of Nagaland in July 2019.

However, his relationship with the NSCN-IM – that he has negotiated with for the past many years – soured last year for allegedly twisting the content of the Framework Agreement and cosying up to its rival groups.

The NSCN-IM had slammed him for reflecting a “divisive” agenda while commemorating Nagaland Statehood Day last year to “protect the 16-Point Agreement at all costs”. It has long ago rejected the 16-Point Agreement which led to Nagaland’s creation as a state.

The outfit had once demanded his removal from the position of interlocutor alleging that the peace process was headed towards “a nauseating end” because of his “mischief”.

The rebel group and the state government have not yet reacted to his fresh appointment. However, Chingwang Konyak, chief of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party which heads the government, said some people were happy while some others were dejected. He did not specify them.

“He was the Governor of the state but he interfered in the affairs of a popular government. The government was not happy,” Konyak told The New Indian Express.