Imphal, May 23: The next round of tripartite talks on the demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur will be held at the district headquarters of Senapati on May 30.
The fixing of the date for the third round of tripartite talks between officials of the Manipur government, home ministry and leaders of the United Naga Council and the Committee for Alternative Arrangement, was done after the Union home ministry made an assurance on talks resumption.
The date was fixed after home minister P. Chidambaram assured a UNC delegation that the next round of talks on the demand would be held soon after consultation with the government during his visit to Ukhrul district headquarters on May 11 to inaugurate a mini-secretariat and a guesthouse.
This will be the third round of talks on the demand after a first round of meeting in Delhi followed by a second round of talks at Senapati district headquarters last year.
The UNC, an apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, raised the demand after the Okram Ibobi Singh government foiled an attempt by NSCN (I-M) leader Thuingaleng Muivah to enter Manipur through Mao Gate along the Imphal-Dimapur highway on May 6 last year and subsequent deaths of two students in police firing at Mao Gate.
The Naga civil society organisations also severed all political ties with the Manipur government.
To pursue the matter with the Centre, the Nagas formed a committee called Committee for Alternative Arrangement. Spearheaded by the UNC, Naga organisations are demanding an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas living in Manipur outside the purview of the state government.
The UNC, the committee, besides officials of the state government are tight-lipped about the details of the scheduled talks and who would be taking part in the next round of talks as it is a “very sensitive issue”.
In the second round of talks, a team of officials led by chief secretary D.S. Poonia represented the Manipur government.
“Yes, the date for the next round of talks was fixed on May 30 at the district headquarters of Senapati. We will inform you about the details later,” a UNC source told this correspondent.
Sources said as part of the preparation for the upcoming talks, the state home department sought information on what the Nagas meant by alternative administrative arrangement and what do they exactly want.
The UNC today wrote to Naga church bodies to organise special prayer services on the eve of the upcoming talks to ensure success of the talks. The letter was jointly signed by UNC president Samson Remei and the chairman of the Committee for Alternative Arrangement, Sword Vashum.