Manipur: Tripartite talks on district creation inconclusive

Correspondent IMPHAL, Mar 9 | Publish Date: 3/9/2019 12:26:56 PM IST

Another round of tripartite talks among delegates of United Naga Council (UNC), Manipur government and Government Of India (GoI) held in Senapati district headquarter ended with no visible progress on Saturday.

UNC has been engaging in tripartite talks with the state government and Centre for  new district creation which the apex body of Nagas of Manipur has been strongly opposing.

The then Congress government had created seven new districts by bifurcating seven districts, two in the valley and five in the hills in November 2016. 

The decision angered the UNC who then imposed the longest-ever economic blockade in all highways including two lifelines; NH-2 and NH-37, demanding a revoke on the decision of district creation. 

The UNC came to the negotiating table only after a new BJP-led coalition government was installed in March 2017 and have been engaged in the tripartite talks since then.

Today’s tripartite talk held at the DRDA hall of the Senapati district headquarters was the ninth round. Joint secretary (NE charge) Satyendra Garg of Union ministry of home affairs presided over today’s meeting.

Agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian led the state government delegation comprising education minister Thokchom Radheshyam Singh  and tribal and hill areas minister N Kayisii.

State principal secretary (health & family welfare) Vumlunmang Vualnam and secretary-cum-commissioner (youths affairs & sports) Bobby Waikhom assisted the ministerial team during the talks. 

UNC was represented by its president, S Kho John; general secretary, S Milan; former UNC president, Gaidon Kamei and other leaders of Naga organisations including president of Naga Women’s Union.

The state government expressed its regret in its inability to bring a concrete proposal for the talks due to its preoccupations with issues at hand while proposing next round of talks in the end of July of the current year.

The UNC strongly protested against state government’s failure to come up with its concrete proposal like in the previous talks and stated that it will go back to Naga people and consult their sentiments regarding the issue. 

The decision of the UNC will be communicated to the government of India later, they informed. 

The UNC also reiterated that development works be carried out in the name of the present district during the talks.

Mention may be made that the first round of talk was held on March 19, 2017, which was followed by several rounds of talk.

The UNC has been demanding roll back of December 8, 2016 decision of the Manipur government regarding creation of seven new districts, particularly Kangpokpi (formerly proposed Sadar Hill district) and Jiribam districts.

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