| Members of the Naga team (from left) Horangse Sangtam, Achumbemo Kikon, G. Vasum, Akum Longchari and Gam A-Shimray (standing). Telegraph picture
Jan. 7: A day after the NSCN (Khaplang) declared that the much-awaited Naga peace talks in Delhi would be an exercise in futility, an organisation representing the Kuki community of Manipur pleaded with the Prime Minister and his deputy not to sign any agreement with the Isak-Muivah group.
In identical memoranda to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and government interlocutor K. Padmanabhaiah, the Kuki Inpi, Manipur, charged the NSCN (I-M) with killing over 900 Kukis and displacing members of the community from 350 villages.
Holkholet Khongsai, president of the Kuki Inpi, said the Kukis deserved to get justice before the Centre signed an agreement with the NSCN (I-M).
The two top leaders of the NSCN (I-M), Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, are expected to reach New Delhi from Amsterdam tomorrow and begin talks with the political leadership the very next day.
Though the majority of Nagas view the proposed talks as the best chance to end decades of insurgency in Nagaland, the NSCN (K) believes otherwise. Continuing its tirade against the NSCN (I-M), the S.S. Khaplang-led faction said Swu and Muivah would at best sign a replica of the “failed” Shillong Accord with the Centre.
“The Delhi tea party between Th. Muivah and the government of India can result in nothing but another ‘Delhi accord’, which will be like the Shillong Accord,” the outfit’s “ministry of information and publicity” said.
Warning NGOs of Nagaland against hobnobbing with the NSCN (I-M) leadership, the Khaplang faction said, “The Naga NGOs that have repeatedly attended meetings with the terrorist mastermind, Th. Muivah, should be prepared for a repeat of the after-effects of the Shillong Accord.”
The Kuki Inpi gave different reasons for its opposition to the proposed talks in Delhi. “The Kukis of Manipur fear that their interests will be adversely affected if the Centre tries to provide substantial political accommodation to the Naga outfit.”
The organisation, however, clarified that its stand did not imply a hatred for the Naga community. “It should not be thought that the Kukis are anti-Naga. In fact, we believe that a conflict of interests must be avoided to the extent possible, and a fair and just solution should be found by taking into consideration all aspects of the case,” it said in the memorandum to Vajpayee.
The Kuki Inpi said the community had not been allowed to put its “legitimate case” at the appropriate level, while the Nagas had aggressively projected their demands at both national and international fora. “Decision-makers at the highest echelons of the government of India must take this fact into account while examining options to resolve the Naga issue,” it said.
The Solidarity Committee on Territorial Ethnic Integrity of Manipur has convened a rally in Imphal tomorrow to mobilise support for a fresh movement to safeguard the state’s territorial integrity. The venue of the rally is the Khuman Lampak Stadium.
M.C. Meitei, convener of the solidarity committee, said the Centre was free to hold talks with the NSCN (I-M), but warned that Manipuris would not tolerate any attempt to impinge on the state’s territorial integrity.