Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio held a meeting with the leadership of the largest armed Naga group, the NSCN-IM, at Nagaland’s Dimapur on Tuesday.
This was the first time that the NSCN-IM held talks with political leaders since it started the negotiations with the Centre in 1997.
Though the talks were informal, it is believed to be the beginning of a political channel with the rebel group to bring the peace talks back on track.
At the formal level, the talks had restarted on Monday with the centre’s mediator AK Mishra after a gap of two years since there was a deadlock between the NSCN-IM leadership and the interlocutor and former Nagaland governor RN Ravi.
Mr Mishra, the former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau, had met the NSCN-IM leadership led by Th Muivah in Dimapur on Monday.
The meeting seems to be the outcome of an outreach by the centre over the Naga political issue.
The political outreach was led by Himanta Biswa Sarma, the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the Northeast version of the NDA where major parties of the region are constituents.
Meanwhile, the anti-talk ULFA which is also known as ULFA (Independent) has declared a ceasefire responding to peace overtures of the Assam government.
Mr Sarma said, “ULFA, Assam government had maintained communications with chief Paresh Baruah and now the Union Home Minister has allowed me to hold dialogue if there is any scope directly.”