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

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.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Eight Projects in Manipur

Modi arrived at Imphal amid a shutdown and boycott imposed by some underground organisations protesting against his visit

Modi. BJP
Modi to inaugurate several infrastructure projects in Odisha. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated eight projects during his one-hour visit to Manipur on Friday.

He also laid the foundation stones of four other projects which will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.

Despite a boycott call given by some insurgent outfits, there was a huge crowd at Hapta Kangjeibung where Narendra Modi addressed a public meeting.

Modi said that most of the projects were delayed by the previous Congress government, thereby wasting more money. “If the projects had been completed without delay, people would have benefitted,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that helicopter services had been introduced for the people and the construction of the Jiribam-Toupul rail line was progressing.

He said that 18,000 remote villages in Manipur had been electrified.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

Narendra Modi praised Manipuri women for being in the forefront in all spheres. He recalled how Mary Kom, the international pugilist, had won fame for India.

“It is in appreciation of the brilliant sportspersons of Manipur that the National Sports University was opened in Manipur,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that Delhi was now closer to the northeastern region. He said: “As Prime Minister, I have visited the region 30 times.”

He said the Integrated Check Post at Moreh, the border town of Manipur, will benefit the people of both India and Myanmar in trade and tourism.

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Modi arrived at Imphal amid a shutdown and boycott imposed by some underground organisations protesting against his visit.

Normal life was disrupted during the shutdown. All shops, commercial institutes, schools and colleges were shut. (IANS)