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Won’t accept peace accord with NSCN (IM) if Manipur affected: Ibobi Singh

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Photo: The Hindu

Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Tuesday said his government will not accept the peace accord signed between the central government and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah if it alters the boundaries of Manipur.

Peace accord signed between Modi government and NSCN (IM)
Peace accord signed between Modi government and NSCN (IM)

“We welcome the peace accord signed between the central government and the NSCN-IM but we will, under no circumstances, accept the peace accord if it disturbs the territorial integrity of Manipur,” Ibobi Singh told journalists.

In a surprising but historic move, the central government and the NSCN-IM on Monday signed the Naga Peace Accord settling an almost 20-year-old peace negotiation process that started in 1997 after the group signed the ceasefire agreement.

Demanding from the BJP-led central government to make the peace pact public, Ibobi Singh underscored the need for making the peace accord document “transparent” in the interest of the state.

“Before signing, it can be made confidential but after signing, it can be made public,” he said.

Ibobi Singh said he has requested union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to make public the peace accord document.

“The Manipur government was kept in the dark about the matter by the Center. They neither informed nor discussed with us before signing the peace accord. Therefore, we are waiting for the central government to share the document with us,” he said.

Echoing the government’s views, the opposition Manipur People’s Party said it will also not accept the peace pact if it compromises the territorial integrity of Manipur.

“We welcome the signing of the peace pact to restore peace, but we will not accept the agreement if it disturbs the territorial integrity of Manipur,” former deputy chief minister and MPP adviser L. Chandramani Singh said.

While observing Manipur Integrity Day on Tuesday, the All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUCO), an umbrella of various social organizations, warned the central government not to disturb the boundaries of Manipur to resolve the six-decade-old Naga insurgency problem.

“We welcome the peace accord, but it should not affect Manipur,” AMUCO leader Ph. Deban said.

On June 18, 2001, Manipur witnessed the biggest mass uprising when thousands of people came out to the streets opposing the Center’s decision to extend the ceasefire with the NSCN-IM to areas in the state.

The Manipuris saw the move as the beginning of an attempt to slice territory out of their state to be handed over to Nagaland as part of the NSCN-IM’s demand for Greater Nagalim.

The protesters also torched the Manipur assembly building, the chief minister’s office, the speaker’s residence and other government establishments.

A total of 18 protesters — a woman, three minors and 14 young men – were killed and many others were injured when security forces eventually opened fire to quell the frenzied mob.

A massive civil disobedience movement followed and state capital Imphal was under curfew for nearly a month. On July 24, then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced that the ceasefire with the NSCN-IM would once again be restricted only to Nagaland, as had been the case ever since it first came into force on August 1, 1997.

(IANS)

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Dalai Lama on Three Day Visit to Manipur

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Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama will be in Manipur on Tuesday. ians

Imphal, October 16: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Manipur, officials said.

This will be his second trip to India’s northeast after his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told IANS on Monday that the government had declared the Dalai Lama a state guest.

“We will extend a warm welcome to him. He will be given all facilities as an honoured guest,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama will be given a public reception at the Convention Centre here. It will be followed by a felicitation programme at the same venue.

The Dalai Lama will interact with members of the public and dignitaries.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, is coming to Manipur at the invitation of the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly.

His Arunachal Pradesh visit had sparked a diplomatic row between India and China.(IANS)

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launches construction of Indian Railway’s longest tunnel

The 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project was taken up in 2008 and was soon declared as a National Project

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Suresh Prabhu. Image source: www.iisd.ca
  • Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal
  • The 111-km-long line comprises 37 tunnels and the tunnel no 12 will be the longest in the Indian Railway at 11.55 km
  • The tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but it would also be a symbolic representation of the state getting connected to the Indian mainland

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday, July 30, announced the commencement of works of the longest tunnel in the Indian Railway – on the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur.

The 111-km-long line comprises 37 tunnels and the tunnel no 12 will be the longest in the Indian Railway at 11.55 km. Besides the longest tunnel in Indian Railway, the stretch also has another striking feature – the tallest bridge in the world, being constructed over Iring river with a pier height of 141 metres, almost equal to two Qutub Minar stacked over each other.

Prabhu made the announcement for the commencement of work on the tunnel while speaking at a function to lay the foundation stone of the proposed railway station at Yurembam village, 13 km away from Imphal.

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“Connectivity is the prime driver of development and the Railway Ministry would not spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the region. Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.

Manipur CM Image source: www.thehindu.com
Manipur CM Image source: www.thehindu.com

“This will not only connect Imphal to the rest of the country but also open up new vistas for economic development of the region,” said Prabhu in his address on the occasion.

“We are proud of our cultural heritage and therefore the proposed Imphal station had been designed incorporating the architectural elements of Kangla Fort Gate and Shri Govindji Temple -two historical monuments of Manipur,” he said, adding Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain would be entrusted with monitoring progress of the projects so that they can be completed in time.

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Announcing the commencement of the works for the Tunnel No. 12, Prabhu said the tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but it would also be a symbolic representation of the state getting connected to the Indian mainland.

The 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project was taken up in 2008 and was soon declared as a National Project. While the works for 12.5-km-long Jiribam to Dholakhal section has been completed and commissioned for freight train in March 2016, construction of 25 out of the total 37 tunnels on the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul section have been completed April this year. The works for the rest are also progressing well.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, while expressing his satisfaction and happiness for Indian Railway’s initiatives for bringing in better connectivity to the region, requested the central government to consider extending the railway line to Moreh from Imphal. (IANS)

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Radicals call for 24 hour ‘public curfew’ in Manipur

Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

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Protesters vs Security forces, (representational Image) Wikimedia
  • Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations
  • On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents
  • However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians

Protesting the police high-handedness, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has imposed a 24-hour public curfew in Manipur from Friday midnight.

Essential services and students have been exempted. Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations.

BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com
BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com

B.K. Moirangcha, convener of the JCILPS, said, “After obtaining permission from the authorities, preparations were being made for a meeting to discuss the burning issues, including Khomdram Ratan, a former convener, being declared as absconder. However, a fresh order was issued banning the public meeting.”

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Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

Meanwhile, Justice N. Koteswor and Justgice Kh. Nobin of the Manipur High Court on Friday ruled that the plea of Ratan to review the government order declaring him absconder is “maintainable”.

24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com
24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com

On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents. So far, nearly 700 migrant workers have been handed over to authorities.

However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians. On Friday, 71 migrant workers were caught without identity papers.

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State Home Minister Gaikhangam said, “Many persons are agitating against the migrants in public while privately they are letting out rooms in their homes.”

State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in
State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in

Hundreds of women are also launching sit-in protests in many parts of the valley districts against migrants. (IANS)

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