IMPHAL: Accusing the Centre of allowing Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to disturb its ongoing peace process, the Isak-Muivah faction of major Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on Wednesday warned that Nagas would defend their “ancestral land” at any cost and as such, they should not be blamed for the worst to happen.
The NSCN IM has alleged a New Delhi-Imphal nexus in tackling the economic blockade of Manipur, saying that sending additional central forces to the area would go against the interests of the Nagas.
The statement came a day after Manipur government started clearing the two blockade-enforced national highways to bring stranded goods-laden trucks to Imphal Valley.
“The existing problem of Manipur is simply created by Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh out of his sheer desperation. At his behest the central government is sending additional central forces against the Nagas. Where is the sincerity of the government to solve the problem,” questioned a statement issued by the NSCN-IM.
Manipur is simmering due to an economic blockade called by the Nagas under the banner of United Naga Council (UNC) in Manipur.
Though the blockade started on November 1 when the state government was planning to create new districts bifurcating existing Naga dominated districts, it intensified after the government ignored the agitation and went ahead to declare Jirbam as a full-fledged district.
The state government also created new districts of Kangpokpi, Tengoupal, Pharzol, Kakching, Noney and Kamjongin.
The NSCN-IM said that the creation of new districts out of Naga territory without their consent is a deliberate act to suppress the rights of the Nagas.
Emphasizing that Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah has apparently received the blessing of the central government as she gave the assent for the creation of the seven new dictricts, the NSCN-IM said: “It is clear to the Nagas that the central Government is instrumental in using Manipur CM Ibobi Singh all along the way to please the Meiteis at the expense of the Nagas.”
“Is this now treacherous attempt to undermine the peace talks on the part of Central Government?” the group questioned.
“We are serious about the political solution. We have not betrayed the Government of India all these long years of political negotiation. However, it would be wise on their part to seek a realistic approach to the Indo-Naga issue. The Indian leadership must realize the futility of using armed forces against the Nagas lest the hard-earned peace process would be rendered meaningless. Ibobi’s refusal to have a tripartite talk is bound to invite an endless confrontation,” it warned.
(Source: News Agencies)