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Manipur plea to confine Naga pact

The citizens' team meets home minister Rajnath Singh

Imphal: Citizens' organisations in Manipur on Monday said the Centre should confine to Nagaland its final settlement with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah), the framework agreement for which was signed on August 3, 2015.

"If the framework agreement and its outcome is confined only to Nagaland, there will be no issue and complications," Johnson Elangbam, president of the United Committee Manipur said.

Elangbam is the spokesperson for the eight-member delegation of three citizens' organisations which returned from Delhi on Sunday after meeting central leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh and interlocutor R.N. Ravi.

The organisations are the United Committee Manipur, the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation and the Committee for Civil Society Kangleipak.

The Delhi trip was prompted by the apprehension that a final settlement between the Naga militant group and the Centre under the framework agreement could harm Manipur's interests.

The fear stems from the fact that the Centre has been refusing to make public the contents of the agreement despite repeated requests from the state government and citizens' organisations.

"If the framework agreement or any solution based on it is going to affect the interest of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, then no solution should be worked out without consulting the governments of these states and stakeholders," Elangbam said.

He said the delegation told the central leaders that the Centre should respect the interest of the people of Manipur and that the framework agreement should not affect the state in any way.

The organisations are of the opinion that any agreement made without consulting the three states and Nagaland will never bring a positive and long-lasting result.

Elangbam said the home minister assured the delegation that there was no question of redrawing boundaries of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and that the framework agreement will not break up Manipur.

The delegation also met leaders of Opposition parties, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, urging them to respect Manipur's territorial integrity.

Elangbam said the citizens' organisations of Manipur will constantly monitor the developments concerning the framework agreement and remain prepared to resist any move to disintegrate Manipur in any manner.

He said the delegates reminded New Delhi of the upheaval against extension of the NSCN (I-M) ceasefire without any territorial limit in 2001, in which 18 protesters had died here.

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