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Fragments Of A Struggle
With the NSCN(IM) refusing to budge from its demand for "reunification" of all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast and threatening to call for a referendum, the peace talks are in a deadlock once again. The stalemate follows the much-delayed meeting between New Delhi’s Naga emissary, former home secretary K. Padmanabhaiah, and NSCN(IM)’s chairman Issac Chisi Swu and general secretary T. Muivah in Bangkok on May 23. Issac and Muivah reportedly told Padmanabhaiah: "At the moment, the crux of the issue is unification. If the Centre refuses to understand us, the question of referendum will come up." The tricky issue has loomed large since 1997. The Naga-inhabited areas are spread over Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. All these states have vehemently opposed any move to redraw the region’s map.