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Centre-NSCN (I-M) meet, NSCN (I-M) to go ahead with Muivah’s visit to Somdal

(From left) Chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, union home secretary, G. K. Pillai, interlocutor for Naga talks, R. S. Pandey and NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Th. Muivah in Viswema village during a meeting, Wednesday. (DIPR)
Correspondent VISWEMA, MAY 12 (NPN):
Published on 13 May. 2010 1:00 AM IST
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Talks to resolve the ongoing impasse between Manipur and Nagaland, in the aftermath of the May 6 incident, arising out of the proposed visit of NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah to his home town Somdal village in Ukhrul district of Manipur, ended inconclusively here Wednesday.
A closed-door meeting was held at the Viswema council hall which was attended by state chief minister Neiphiu Rio and his cabinet colleagues, union home secretary G.K.Pillai, Government of India’s Interlocutor to the Naga peace talks R.S.Pandey and NSCN(I-M)general secretary Th.Muivah and his colleagues including representatives of civil societies.
Talking to the media after coming out of the closed-door meeting that went on for an hour, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio described it as “cordial”. NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th.Muivah on his side, expressed the hope that the government of India would resolve the prevailing problem soon.
Despite the smiles on their faces, all four appeared tense as they came out of the meeting hall at Viswema village.
Pandey told media person that “Whatever we have discussed with the Government of Manipur… we have conveyed that curfew be lifted and central forces be deployed there and the people who have left their homes will go back. We have made similar request here also.. to maintain conducive atmosphere so that there is no road blockade. That is what we have asked.” He said they would continue to talk with all parties and exuded confidence that the problem would be solved if everybody put their efforts.
Pandey said that the centre has been responsive though the central team arrived on yesterday. He said there was concern for Muivah’s security who falls under category ‘Z’ plus. He said that the centre’s representative had again requested Muivah to postpone his proposed visit to Somdal village.
Later, NSCN (I-M) “Lt. Gen (Retd)” V. S. Atem described the meeting as “free and frank” and said his side was happy at the manner in which the meeting was held.
He, however said the NSCN (I-M) was “pained and disappointed” at the shifting stand of the government of India. “We’ve expressed our deep frustration, we’ve told in unequivocal terms that we’ve come here and we’re going ahead,” Atem said regarding Muivah’s visit to Somdal.
To a query, Atem said the NSCN (I-M) had done nothing wrong and that the prevailing problem was the creation of the Manipur government. He said the government of India instead of reasoning with Manipur, had been morally strengthening it by “repeatedly” going to Manipur and talking on humanitarian issues.
“It is the creation of Manipur and not the Nagas… and Manipur being a part of India, they (Centre) have every authority to rein in the Manipur government,” Atem said.
He recalled that when Muivah expressed his desire to go to his village, the government of India was “very happy” and willingly approved the proposal. He said Muivah refused the request of the government of India return back to Hebron after having already come half way. “There is no reason to go back to Hebron… we will go,” he vowed. Atem also asserted if the government of India “want us to deal with the Manipur government, we will’.
On Pandey’s statement for lifting the curfew and Centre’s concern for Muivah’s security, Atem said that the curfew was clamped by Manipur government and that it has nothing to do with the Nagas. He said security of Muivah was also not the concern of India.
Meanwhile, sources from civil organizations who attended the closed door meeting disclosed that Muivah was angry with the central representatives for not revealing anything about the outcome of their meeting with the Manipur government. They said, at one time during the meeting, Muivah shouted out of anger.
Earlier, the two-member central team on their arrival by a chartered chopper at Kohima called on the Governor and held a meeting with the Naga civil organizations. Later, they called on the state chief minister Neiphiu Rio at his official bungalow where they also held a meeting along with his cabinet colleagues. The central team also visited the displaced persons sheltered at Kisama Naga Heritage village. They assured the villagers that Manipur state force would be withdrawn and be replaced by the central security force. They appealed to the displaced villagers to return to their villages.
Both Pillai and Pandey returned by chopper to Imphal for the flight back to New Delhi Wednesday.

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