Will oppose altering Manipur’s territorial boundary: UCM

Correspondent IMPHAL, OCT 11 | Publish Date: 10/12/2019 12:25:38 PM IST
Claiming that the Government of India could agree to the formation of territorial council or extension of 6th schedule of Indian Constitution to conclude the decades-old peace talk with the NSCN (I-M), the United Committee Manipur (UCM) on Saturday reiterated its firm stand against any community-based administrative division in Manipur.
Addressing a press conference, UCM president Sunil Karam announced that the apex body was against creation of territorial council or extension of 6th schedule of Indian Constitution in Manipur.
He said that UCM has been closely monitoring the development of the peace talks, which could conclude at any time later or sooner.
UCM president cautioned that if the Centre attempted to form the territorial council or extend 6th schedule forcibly, then UCM and the people of Manipur would fight tooth and nail to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur.
He reiterated that UCM had many occasions announced its strong objection to the any kind of agreement that would alter the territorial boundary of Manipur or hurting the interest of Manipur.
Karam reiterated UCM’s firm stand that if any point related with Manipur included while entering the peace agreement, Centre must consult with all the stakeholders.
He said that no solution can be brought about without prior consultation with the stakeholders. UMC president said if the stakeholders were to be bypassed; the government of India must know that people of Manipur were always ready to sacrifice their lives for protection of territorial integrity of the state.
“We the people are ready to fight any challenges to the territorial integrity of Manipur. UCM will fight against any political party or son of the soil who challenge the integrity of Manipur,” Karam affirmed.
Asking the people to prepare for facing any eventuality when challenges come up against the territorial integrity of Manipur, UMC president maintained that time has come for the state government to declare its stand to the public at the earliest.
He insisted that all the sitting 60 legislators of the state must declare their stand on it.
In the light of the developing situation, he said it would be better for the Manipur government to go together with the people as it would be more effective to pressurise the Centre.
UCM general secretary Kh Athouba said that UCM would always welcome any peace initiative of the government of India. 
However, any peace initiative related with Manipur must be consulted with the people and stakeholders first. 
He insisted prime minister and union home minister to translate into action the assurance they had given to the leaders of CSOs during a meeting at New Delhi in December 2017.
He claimed that during the meeting, the prime minister and the union home minister had given an assurance to hold prior consultation with all stakeholders if any matter related with Manipur included in the peace negotiation.
The general secretary also cautioned that if India government goes against the wishes of the people of the state, UCM would be compelled to review the Manipur-India political relationship right from the signing of the merger agreement.
It may be mentioned that the then kingdom of Manipur was merged to Indian Union after signing a merger agreement on September 21, 1949.
Athouba added that India has no right to interfere into the territorial integrity of Manipur if the merger agreement was closely studied.


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