COCOMI reiterates stand to protect Manipur integrity, rejects demand for Naga integration

COCOMI reiterates stand to protect Manipur integrity, rejects demand for Naga integration

TMB Report

IMPHAL: Against the backdrop of the Framework Agreement between the Government of India and NSCN-IM ostensibly headed to be settled by September 2020, Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has reiterated its stand to protect the integrity of the state.

Making clear the stand of the people of Manipur,  COCOMI said that Government of India should not go ahead with any move such as integration of all Naga inhabited areas, formation of Pan Naga Cultural body/province/Territorial council ethnic based separate Administrative arrangement or Administrative arrangement or any other similar nature while finalizing the Framework Agreement, to appease the Naga rebel group. Naga flag should be confined to Nagaland only. Nobody should be formed that will undermine and bypass the dignity of Manipur Legislative Assembly, it added.

The protracted peace talk between Government of India and NSCN-IM is completing 23 years. The two parties signed framework agreement on August 3, 2015, expecting for a lasting solution. However, the two parties, which celebrated after signing of the agreement have now started spelling out different interpretations of the peace pact. The persistent demand of the NSCN-IM to integrate all Naga inhabited areas in the Northeast region and to cover the states by the talks has been triggering strong apprehension among the people in the affected states like Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Preadesh. As such, people of the state have been demanding to divulge the contents of the Framework agreement since signing of the pact in 2015.

Centre has repeatedly assured to finalise the peace talk by September this year. In the meantime, several Naga bodies have been urging the Prime Minister to finalise the protracted peace talks with or without NSCN-IM.

People of the state have no objection to bringing a solution to the peace talk. However, the talks should be confined to Nagaland only and should not aim at the unity and integrity of neighboring Manipur, COCOMI stated in its statement.   

It recalled that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during a meeting on November 25, 2019 at New Delhi, assured the COCOMI representatives that he would consult the people of the state in advance whenever the peace talks involved Manipur. The Home Minister gave his assurance in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren, Education Minister Th Radheshyam and Union minister of state for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy.  Centre should keep its words. CSO of the state have not been informed by the centre about the talks till date, despite September having commenced. Consulting Manipur CSOs after final discussion of the peace talk, thereby affecting Manipur interest will not be accepted at all. If the peace talk covers Manipur, people of the state should be made a party of the talk. Before solution of the talk, the centre should send its representatives to Manipur to seek views and inputs of the people and the CSOs.

COCOMI has prepared to fight any eventualities when the GOI bypasses the people and state Government while bringing solution to the Naga peace talk, it cautioned.

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