UCM fears GoI aiding dissident MLAs to solve Naga issue
IMPHAL, 19th Sep: Suspecting handiwork of the central government in the quest for leadership change in the BJP-led coalition government in the state, which has been marred by instability following the bid by rebel MLAs to earn ministerial berths; United Committee Manipur (UCM) general secretary Khuraijam Athouba has asked all the MLAs to take sole responsibility for possible proclamation of President’s Rule in the state in an attempt to settle the protracted peace talks between NSCN (IM) and Government of India which is likely to resolve in October.
He was delivering the key note address at a public alert meeting on the topic “The Possible Settlement of Naga Peace Accord” organised by UCM at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound here on Thursday wherein several resolutions concerning the Framework Agreement inked between NSCN (IM) and Government of India were adopted.
Athouba pointed out that President’s Rule was imposed in Jammu & Kashmir and Article 370 was abrogated in the name of ensuring a stable government in the strife-torn state and similar situation may be witnessed in Manipur as the government has failed to maintain stability and good governance in the backdrop of the political storm kicked-up by rebel MLAs whose only intention is to secure ministerial posts.
He reminded that the signing of the controversial Bangkok Declaration between NSCN (IM) and GoI on June 14, 2001 led to the imposition of President’s Rule in the state and occurrence of the infamous June 18 incident in which 18 people were killed in firing by security forces.
He stated that people of the state want peace and development by resolving insurgency problem in the north east but there is a need to keep track of the strategies to be adopted by the central government to settle the problem as the region has been victimised on numerous occasions.
Asserting that unrest and insurgency problem plaguing the north east cannot be settled by appeasing NSCN (IM) alone, Athouba stated that frontal organisations like UCM, AMUCO and CSSK had met the Prime Minister and submitted a six-point memorandum on December 10, 2017 reiterating their stand on the outcome of the peace talks between NSCN (IM) and GoI. After the submission of the memorandum, Centre’s interlocutor on the Naga peace talks RN Ravi, who is now serving as the Governor of Nagaland, gave statements in national media that the central government is mulling to constitute a separate territorial council for Nagas settling in different parts of the north east states. In protest against the unwarranted statements, UCM organised a rally in October wherein lakhs of people took part. A three-point resolution was also taken with regard to the vexed peace talks, he recalled.
He opined that it is high time for the people of the state to remain alert over the outcome of the Naga peace accord because impingement on the territorial integrity and alteration of the state’s boundary to pave the path for concluding the contentious peace talks cannot be ruled out.
He then appealed to the people to support the UCM’s plan to organise public alert meeting in every locality starting from Friday with the aim of sensitising the general public about the threat posed by the peace talks to the territorial integrity and peaceful co-existence amongst the different communities of the state.
The meeting presided over by UCM president Sunil Karam and moderated by consultative member RK Ranendrajit adopted several resolutions concerning the long-drawn peace talks between NSCN (IM) and GoI. It resolved that the Framework Agreement should not affect the territorial integrity and boundary of Manipur at any cost and also alter boundary of other north east states where Nagas are living.
It also resolved against integration of Nagas settling in different parts of the north east, formation of Pan Naga cultural body or territorial council, separate administration and establishment of separate offices for Nagas only as demanded by NSCN (IM). The meeting also strongly resolved to secure future of people of the state by themselves in case the resolutions were not honoured by the central government.