UCM raises posers over NSCN-IM’s designated camp
IMPHAL, 26th Apr: United Committee Manipur (UCM) has strongly decried the Government of India for betraying the people of Manipur by authorising a designated camp of NSCN-IM in Kangkhui-Shirui forest in Ukhrul district in 2007.
In a statement, UCM said that the disclosure was made in a news report filed by the Dimapur-based Newmai News Network. The report quoted NSCN-IM’s press statement in which the Naga outfit claimed that the then chairman of Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) Lt Gen RV Kulkarni (retired) in his letter (dated 06.02.2007) to Naveen Verma, Joint Secretary (NE), Ministry of Home Affairs approved Khangkhui-Shirui forest area as an NSCN-IM designated camp.
Taking serious note over the claim of NSCN-IM, the UCM statement said that if the claim is true and the Centre indeed approved the designated camp there is every reason to call it as the greatest betrayal by Government of India to the people of Manipur. It then demanded the Centre to clarify publicly in this regard failing which possibility of serious consequences cannot be ruled out.
It is worth reminding how the then Prime Minister of India had a joint meeting with all the chief ministers of northeast states and resolved to restrict the ceasefire agreement with NSCN-IM to Nagaland only and not extend the same to other northeast states taking in view of the violent opposition in Manipur.
Both national and local media reported the outcome of the meeting during which the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that “the words without territorial limits in the agreement reached between the Centre and the NSCN-IM on June 14 would be deleted and the status quo ante of June 14 would be restored.”
“Announcing this, Home Minister LK Advani said Government representatives have already discussed the issue with NSCN-IM which was agreeable to the proposal. Advani, who refused to respond, said the Prime Minister discussed the issue with all the chief ministers and decided that the three words (without territorial limits) would be deleted and status quo ante of June 14 restored” the UCM statement quoted media report.
It is a matter of outright betrayal on the part of the Government of India to secretly approve the designated camp of NSCN-IM in Ukhrul despite such announcement, UCM said and added that it will give a befitting response as and when the time comes. On the other hand, the Phungtha Brigade Camp in Kamjong district is also against the agreement and both the Centre and state government should take up necessary measures to relocate the camp outside the state at the earliest. Allowing such camps within the boundary of the state will only lead to more unrest in the state, UCM said.
For years, the government has been denying existence of any designated camps of NSCN-IM in the state. However, the secret is out in the public and remaining silent now will only invite a public movement from the people of the state and UCM.
Some might think the statement of UCM as untimely but it is a long suppressed matter and both the UCM and people of the state are experiencing the pain of betrayal for all this years after the then Prime Minister of India made the announcement on July 27, 2001. Considering the volatile nature of the issue the government, especially the Centre should take up immediate measures to address it to regain the lost trust.00