In a move suggesting the disapproval of Naga interlocutor RN Ravi’s handling of the Naga peace process over the years, the Center has made him the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
Besides Ravi’s appointment, Banwarilal Purohit, who was till now the Governor of Tamil Nadu, has been sent to Punjab, and Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh, who has retired as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, has been replaced by Baby Rani as the Governor of Uttarakhand. has been appointed. Maurya resigned.
Lt Gen Singh has served as the Corps Commander of the strategic XV Corps, which looks after the Line of Control in Kashmir. He also handled China’s operational and military strategic issues as Additional Director General of Military Operations.
The order said that Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi will hold the additional charge of Nagaland.
The Naga peace process has been hit hard in the last few years due to the deteriorating relationship between Ravi, a prominent Naga group that talks with the Centre, NSCN-IM. Despite the signing of a framework agreement for the Naga peace accord in 2015, the government has not been able to finalize the accord.
Last year, relations between the two sides became so tense that the NSCN-IM sought Ravi’s removal to make the talks a success. In fact, the Intelligence Bureau has been in talks with the Naga groups, especially the NSCN-IM, for the last one year for the Naga peace deal.
Relations between Ravi and the NSCN-IM turned sour in early 2020, when the former wrote to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio criticizing the law and order situation. Pointing to “large-scale extortion and violence”, Ravi had alleged that “armed gangs” were running a parallel government, “challenging the legitimacy of the state government”. The state government had said that their assessment was not “factual”.
Ravi’s appointment as governor of a large state is a sign by the government that while it wants to advance the Naga peace process, it values his contributions as a Naga interlocutor over the years.