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UNC puts Centre on notice

Imphal, Jan. 28: The United Naga Council (UNC) today served an ultimatum to the Centre to resume the tripartite talks on the demand for making an alternative administrative arrangement for Nagas living in Manipur outside the purview of the Manipur government.

The memorandum signed jointly by UNC president L. Adani and general secretary Gaidon Kamei cautioned the Centre that they would agitate if the Centre failed to resume the talks by February 17.

“The Centre should communicate the date for the 5th round of tripartite talks (to UNC) on or before February 17 so that the democratic process of dialogue initiated by the Centre is brought to its logical conclusion,” the memorandum, which was sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, said.

It warned that if the Centre failed to respond in time, the council “will have to take up course of actions in protest against the Centre’s disrespect and undermining the democratic process of dialogue and inaction in addressing the constitutional and democratic rights of the Nagas in Manipur.”

It raised the demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur after two students were killed in police crackdown on protesters at Mao gate in Senapati district in 2010. They were demonstrating against the Okram Ibobi Singh government’s decision to prevent NSCN (I-M) leader Th. Muivah from entering Manipur.

Four rounds of talks were held among leaders of the council, officials of Manipur government and Union home ministry. The last round of talks was held in Delhi on August 31 last year. Since then the Centre has not fixed any date for further talks despite various reminders by the council.

“We still retain our faith in the principles of democracy and fervently urge the Centre to take up the demand for an alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur outside the purview of the Manipur government, pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue in all seriousness and sense of urgency,” the memorandum said.