Respect territorial integrity: Manipur delegates on Nagaland Peace Accord

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By Neelam Phukan

Imphal, January 2: Johnson Elangbam, president of the United Committee Manipur said that if the framework agreement and its outcome confined only to Nagaland, there will be no problem.

Eight member delegation of three citizens’ organizations of the United Committee Manipur, the All Manipur United Clubs Organization and the Committee for Civil Society Kangleipak had returned from Delhi on Sunday for a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and interlocutor R.N. Ravi.

The Delhi trip was driven by the anxiety of the people of Manipur that a final settlement between the Naga militant group and the Centre under the framework agreement could harm Manipur’s interests. Despite repeated requests from the state government and citizens’ organizations the Centre has not yet revealed the contents of the agreement, thus harboring fear in the mind of the people of the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

If the framework agreement or any solution based on it is going to affect the interest of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, then no solution should be worked out without consulting the governments of these states and stakeholders, added Elangbam while speaking to media persons, as any agreement made without consulting the three states and Nagaland will never bring a positive and long-lasting result.

He further added that the delegation suggested that the Centre should keep in mind the interest of the people of Manipur and that the framework agreement should not affect the state in any way.

In response to their concern, the home minister assured the delegation that there was no issue of redrawing boundaries of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur will not be disintegrated by the framework agreement.

Congress President, Rahul Gandhi was also met by the delegation in their effort and concern to safeguard the interest of the people of Manipur and respect Manipur’s territorial integrity.

The progress concerning the framework agreement will be constantly monitored by the citizens’ organization and any move to break up Manipur will be met with strict resistance, said the spokesperson.

Reminding New Delhi of the turmoil against expansion of the NSCN (I-M) ceasefire without any territorial limit in 2001, in which 18 protesters lost lives, the Citizens’ organizations of Manipur said the framework agreement which was signed on August 3, 2015 should confine only to Nagaland in the final settlement with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).