NEW DELHI : The troubled border state of Nagaland remained tense before Friday’s planned signing of the Naga Peace Accord, over concerns that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) may try to derail the peace process if its wishes were not accommodated.

However, on Thursday, the Union home ministry said that the Centre will consult all stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, before arriving at an agreement.

“It is clarified that before any settlement is arrived at with Naga groups, all stakeholders, including states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, will be duly consulted and their concerns will be taken into consideration," the home ministry said.

The NSCN (I-M), a key player in the peace accord, was the primary signatory when it was announced in 2015 under then Union home minister Rajnath Singh. However, it has since played hardball with the Centre, and several of its members have defected to the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), which became a signatory to the pact in 2017.

Talks to find a lasting solution to the seven-decades-old insurgency problem continued for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, with the Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland governor R.N Ravi holding discussions with the NSCN-IM for three hours, PTI reported on Thursday.

“Some NSCN (I-M) leaders through various media platforms are misleading the people with absurd assumptions and presumptions over what they have already agreed with the government of India," the Union home ministry said in statement last week.

While the NNPG is determined to keep the peace accord on track, the NSCN (I-M) has insisted on a separate constitution, flag and integration of all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas under Nagalim (Greater Nagaland), which includes parts of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.

Last week, Ravi had met the primary stakeholders of the Naga society to discuss the “Framework Agreement with the (NSCN I-M) and the agreed position", following which the Centre said that a mutually agreed comprehensive draft settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, was ready for inking.

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