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Manipur unity vow reiterated

Imphal, Aug. 4: Various citizens’ organisations in Manipur today rejected the demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur and reaffirmed the pledge to safeguard the state’s territorial integrity.

The All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) observed the 17th Manipur Integrity Day here today as a part of the campaign to maintain the state’s unity and protect its boundary. The function was attended by leaders of nearly 20 citizens’ organisations.

The United Naga Council’s (UNC) demand for an alternative arrangement is not practicable,” P. Gandhi, general secretary of AMUCO, said in his keynote address.

The organisation observes this day as Manipur Integrity Day every year to reaffirm the resolution taken in a public rally on August 4 in 1997 to safeguard the state’s boundary. A huge march and public meeting was held a month after the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) ceasefire came into force on July 1, 1997.

No resolution was taken during today’s meet. However, the speakers reaffirmed the resolution taken 17 years ago to protect Manipur’s territorial integrity.

Today’s programme came when the UNC, apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, has been agitating against the Okram Ibobi Singh government’s deployment of police commandos and India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel and the imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in Ukhrul town.

The government’s move came after a member of Ukhrul Autonomous District Council, Ngalangzar Malue, 65, was killed in an ambush, allegedly by NSCN (I-M) cadres, in Ukhrul district on July 12.

Terming the government’s move as militarisation of the Naga areas, the UNC renewed its demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur outside the purview of the state government.

Seeking intervention by the Centre on the deployment of state forces and the demand for an alternative arrangement, the UNC had banned all national projects in Manipur for 10 days from August 1.

Speakers at the programme reiterated their stand that Manipur’s boundary should not be disturbed under any circumstances.

Activist Ima Memchoubi underlined the need for a dialogue with Naga organisations to bring about an understanding among the communities in the state.

People paid floral tributes at the “integrity pillar” near Imphal Polo Ground.