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Centre not keeping its word: United Committee Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, SEP 3 | Publish Date: 9/3/2020 12:49:07 PM IST

‘NAGA TALKS SHOULD NOT AFFECT TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF MANIPUR’

India government was not keeping its word, the apex body of various civil society and local youth clubs United Committee Manipur (UCM),  alleged on Thursday while urging people of the state to remain alert.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of Langban Heitha Leithaba (tarpon) in Imphal’s Kekrupat Memorial Complex, UCM president Sunil Karam alleged that the Centre has not translated into action its assurances to the people of the state.

Meitei, the major community of Manipur offer tarpon (offering of fresh flowers and fruits to the water as mark of paying tribute to their ancestors in the month of langbal (the 6th month of Manipuri calendar) believing that they descend to their homes on the night of the full moon of Langbal month (usually falls in September or October) and return to their dwellings on the day of the new moon.

Like previous years, UCM offered tarpon to the 18 people who sacrificed their lives during the people’s uprising in June 2001 to protest against extension of ceasefire between Centre and NSCN(I-M) without territorial limit. 

However, this year, only a few leaders of the UCM and other civil society organisations offered tarpon to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Karam said that the Centre had given assurances to consult with all stakeholders before finalising the proposed peace accord with NSCN(I-M), however, there was no invitation for talks received so far.

Karam said that they were aware of the Prime Minister’s Office working on inking the final peace accord by the current month.

“We have no objection to inking of the final peace accord. But the agreement should not affect the territorial integrity of Manipur. It should be confined only in Nagaland,” he said.

If any point hurting the interest of Manipur is included in the proposed agreement, UCM will not remain silent, he warned.

“If the Centre happens to invite stakeholders only for the name sake after finalising the proposed agreement, we will not accept it,” he warned.

He reminded the centre of its assurances on many occasions and urged it to stand by its words of consulting stakeholders, if any point related with neighbouring states of Nagaland is included in the proposed agreement.

He said that on behalf of the people of the state, Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) had conveyed the wishes of the people of Manipur in a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November last year.

In the meeting in which state chief minister and some other ministers were also present, Amit Shah had assured all stakeholders will be consulted before finalising the peace accord. Earlier on Wednesday, COCOMI, in a statement, urged the people of the state to remain vigilant and united while anticipating a final solution to the Naga peace talk this month (September).

It demanded that the proposed final solution to the peace talk should remain well within the boundary of Nagaland. And if any point affecting the state’s interest is included, people of Manipur should be invited and recognised as one of the parties of the peace talk, COCOMI stated.

“We must remain vigilant and united to face any adversary and agenda that threatens the interests and integrity of the state,” COCOMI had stated.

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