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Manipur to protect its territory

Manipur to protect its territory
N Biren Singh addressing the last day of the monsoon session of Manipur Assembly on Monday.
Correspondent IMPHAL, JUL 23 | Publish Date: 7/24/2018 12:25:51 AM IST
Manipur Assembly on Monday passed a resolution reaffirming its earlier resolution to uphold and protect the territorial integrity of the state. The resolution was made following a motion moved by Manipur chief minister, N Biren Singh in the floor of the house reaffirming the December 2017 resolution.
On December 22, the state Assembly passed a resolution to protect Manipur’s territorial integrity at any cost and demanded disclosure of the contents of 2015 Framework Agreement signed between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).
Giving his statement at the floor of the house, Singh reminded that since 1997, the Assembly had been unanimously adopting this resolution in the interest of the state. However, he said there was still a need to adopt or reaffirm the resolution since people were apprehensive of the final outcome without making known the contents of the agreement. Singh also informed the house about the recent meeting with the Interlocutor for Naga talks, R.N. Ravi, where the latter had assured the state delegation that the agreement does not in any way infringe upon the territorial integrity of Manipur.
Biren Singh said even though Centre had been giving its assurances on the issue, there was a need to consult the stakeholders of the three states-- Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh before signing of the final agreement.
The chief minister vowed that Manipur government will not allow any kind of administrative arrangement like autonomous council or special status for a particular community or group outside the purview of the state administration.
He said, “Time has come for members of the house to unite for safeguarding the territorial integrity of the state.”
Later, after comments and observations from members of ruling and opposition benches were made, the house reaffirmed the stand of the house to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and to oppose to any kind of arrangement which would hurt the territorial integrity of the state in future. Meanwhile, the house also passed The Manipur People Bill 2018 to protect the indigenous people, while also agreeing to withdraw two controversial bills- The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.
It may be recalled that Manipur chief minister on July 16 said that his government will resign if the territorial integrity of the state was compromised to resolve the Naga issue.
Emphasising that a consensus has to be reached before taking a final decision on the Naga issue, Singh in an exclusive interview told ANI said: “If our voice is not heard, if the consent of the state assembly or of the people is not taken and changes are made, then we (government) will be nowhere. We will have to leave our posts automatically”.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by former Home Minister, P Chidambaram cautioned the Centre that delay in concluding talks on the Naga Accord sas making the Naga groups “restless” and it could “harm whatever progress” achieved so far in this direction. 
The committee also wondered “why there is a delay in concluding the peace talks when all other stakeholders other than the government appear to be eager to conclude it”.
The remarks of the panel came after Interlocutor for Naga talks, R.N. Ravi informed the committee that Article 371A, which guarantees special constitutional status to Nagaland, could also be extended to Naga-inhabited areas in neighbouring Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
He also told the committee that the framework agreement was “just about” the recognition of the uniqueness of Naga history by the Centre and an understanding on that “inclusive settlement will be within the Indian federation with due to regards to the uniqueness of the Naga history.”
Earlier during the day, the monsoon session of the Assembly witnessed a stormy start as the opposition Congress legislators rose up after the Speaker refused to discuss the prevailing crisis in the Manipur University and adopt a resolution by the house.
While, outside the Assembly complex, university students staged a protest demanding removal of the vice chancellor Prof. A.P. Pandey. They also attempted to storm the Assembly complex from various directions, defying the curfew imposed by the district administration.
Imphal West district magistrate promulgated Section 144(5) of CrPC covering a radius of 500m along the Manipur Assembly complex.

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