AIR OF SPECULATION IN NAGALAND; TENSION IN MANIPUR
While an air of intense speculation hovers around Nagaland, on solution to the over 22 years of prolonged negotiations on the Naga political issue, in neighbouring Manipur, there is an air of uncertainty and tension over the fate of the state’s territory that led Manipur chief minister to hold an-all party meeting amidst protests.
It may be recalled that government of India’s Interlocutor to the Naga peace talks and governor of Nagaland R.N. Ravi convened a meeting on October 18 in Kohima with various Naga tribe hohos, church and civil society organisations, to explain the contents of the Framework Agreement and reiterate that the government of India was determined to deliver on its promise to conclude the talks within the stipulated time frame.
In the October 18 meeting, Ravi had made it amply clear that there won’t be any more delays for solution and that “ endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable”.
The August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement was signed by Ravi on behalf of the government of India with NSCN(I-M) leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Th.Muivah in presence of home minister Rajnath Singh, COAS Ge,Dalbi Singh Suhag and other NSCN(I-M) leaders.
Another agreement was signed with the Working Committee of seven Naga National Political Groups(NNPGs) on November 17,2017 on the political parameters of settlement. In subsequent interviews to Nagaland Post, Ravi had said all issues were covered and agreed to in principle excepting “symbolic issues” such as Naga flag and constitution.
In the October 18 meeting, Ravi had also made known various demands for solution that included an inclusive a Pan-Naga Hoho for all Nagas in the north east dealing with cultural, social and traditional matters; regional autonomous state councils for Nagas of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with independent funding and decision making and a minor council for Nagas of Assam.
While WC of NNPGs have said they are ready to conclude talks and would take all Nagas on board, NSCN(I-M) has insisted upon Naga flag and constitution.
In the October 18 meeting, Ravi had made it clear that there will be no more talks after signing of agreement for solution.
MANIPUR: In neighbouring Manipur, chief minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday convened a meeting of all political party against the backdrop of Centre’s decision to conclude the peace process with Naga groups.
After media reports that the Centre has set October 31 as the deadline, there was heightened tensions in the state over granting autonomy to the Nagas in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. This point had been questioned by civil society organisations in Manipur, fearing alteration of state territory.
Major pressure groups like the UCM, AMUCO, CCSK and others had already formed a joint committee called Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) and have started alert campaigns in case any point included in the agreement that were seen to affect the interest of Manipur.
While resolving to protect the territorial integrity and oneness of the of the state, the meeting further resolved to send a political party delegation to urge the Central leadership to protect the interest of Manipur by submitting a memorandum.
The political parties sending their representatives includes NPF, JD(S), NCP, MPP, AAP, LJP, RSP, MPCC, MSCP, RJSP, BJP, Shiv Sena, CPI, JD(U), NEIDP, MNDF, NPP, AITC and CPI(M), the source said.
Earlier in the day, students of various colleges in Imphal and its outskirt planned to stage protest demonstrations on the streets outside their college premises under the aegis of COCOMI.