UNC warns of agitation – Plea for talks on separate arrangement for Nagas

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Imphal, May 21

The United Naga Council, apex body of the community in Manipur, is gearing up for another round of agitation over the demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for Naga-inhabited areas outside the purview of the state government.

The council has been demanding an alternative administrative arrangement ever since the Okram Ibobi Singh government prevented NSCN (I-M) leader Th. Muivah from entering Manipur in 2010.

The council wants a separate administration for the Naga-inhabited areas till an agreement is reached between the outfit and the Centre. The NSCN (I-M) is demanding integration of all Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh under one administrative unit.

“We will soon launch different forms of democratic movements urging the government of India for immediate political intervention into the demand for an alternative arrangement,” S. Milan, publicity secretary of the council, said.

The council observed a 48-hour bandh in all Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur from April 27 demanding intervention by the Centre into the demand. It is gearing up for another phase of agitation after the Centre did not respond to the demand even after the strike.

Seven rounds of tripartite talks were held between the council, Manipur government and the Centre on the demand. The last round of talks was held on February 6 last year in Senapati town.

The Centre had convened all the seven rounds of talks and the Naga council wants the Centre to convene another round of meeting to take the dialogue forward.

Milan said the last round of talks had agreed to constitute a high-level committee to translate the demand for an alternative arrangement into a political reality. However, the agreement is yet to be translated into action, he said.

The Naga council, which considers the state government “communal”, asked all Nagas not to welcome the ruling Congress in Naga-inhabited areas.

The council’s “firm stand” against the Congress may affect the prospects of party candidates in the upcoming autonomous district council elections which will be held in the five hill districts of Manipur on June 1.

Nagas are in the majority in four of the six district councils – Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel. The other two councils of Churachandpur and Sadar Hills (Sadar Hills is in Senapati district though has a separate district council) are dominated by Kukis.

Three cadres of the NSCN (I-M) allegedly assaulted a Congress worker in Ukhrul town on Monday. Deputy chief minister Gaikhangam today condemned the assault.

In a related development, the All Manipur Christian Organisation announced that it would hold a fast and prayer at Manipur Baptist Convention, Centre Church, here, on Saturday and Sunday for peaceful district council polls. The organisation appealed to candidates to join the programme. (TTNE)