The last couple of rounds of talks with the NSCN (IM) was held by two senior officials of Intelligence Bureau without Ravi following opposition from the former, but so far there is no official word from the Centre on the status of Ravi as interlocutor.
Further, the NSCN (IM) leadership has refused to enter into an agreement with the centre without the inclusion of their two primary demands of granting use of a separate Naga national flag and separate Naga constitution. Both demands are not on Ravi’s list and, therefore, the talks with the NSCN (IM) has so far remained inconclusive and has delayed the signing of the accord. On September 4, the MPs and intellectuals while participating in a conference, organised by the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) in Delhi, expressed dismay at the “sudden derailment of the peace process, due to the wide trust deficit between the interlocutor RN Ravi and the representatives of the NSCN (IM).” Stating that the interlocutor is a mandatory link between the Centre and NSCN (IM), the participants resolved that “in the interest of peace, it is necessary to appoint an interlocutor who will re-establish the trust of the negotiating parties”. A top functionary of the NSCN’s (IM) rival, Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), a conglomerate of seven groups, which is in separate peace talks, said, “So far, the government of India has not issued any order that he (Ravi) has been replaced as an interlocutor so we consider that he is still the interlocutor.” The NSCN (IM) has not yet made any comment on the matter. The NNPGs functionary added, “We are looking for conclusion. The talks have already concluded on October 31, 2019, and with ceasefire by the Niki Sumi group, no one has been left out now. We are waiting for signing of the accord.”
Ravi was appointed the interlocutor in 2014 when the NSCN (IM) was the only group at the discussion table. It was in 2017, under Ravi’s initiative for an all-inclusive peace settlement, seven factions of the NSCN came on one platform and identified themselves as NNPGs and started a parallel discussion with the Centre, which irked the NSCN (IM) and it soon fell out with Ravi.