IN two ways, the situation in Nagaland has come full circle. Firstly, the four-year-old ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim’s Issac-Muivah faction, nscn(im), is in danger. Nominally, it stands extended by another year from August 1, but confined to the geographical boundaries of Nagaland. Second, after a two-year gap, a politician is back as chief negotiator for the talks, in the shape of former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma.
But backtracking on the June 14 Bangkok Agreement—which had extended the truce “without territorial limits”, only to come up against a mass uprising in Manipur—is fraught with problems. New Delhi insists that last fortnight’s decision to delete the phrase in contention—”without territorial limits”—had the consent of the nscn(im) leadership. However, the two senior Naga leaders, Muivah and Swu, have asserted otherwise. “We had totally rejected the proposal (of limiting the ceasefire to Nagaland), and had said that the matter could not be discussed since the ink had not even dried on the June 14 pact.”