A day after he met the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Kolkata to discuss a host of issues, Manipur’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that the territorial integrity of the state does not stand to be compromised in resolving the Naga issue.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an official programme after the meeting at Kolkata’s Raj Bhawan, Biren said he, along with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, pressed the home minister to confine any ‘final settlement’ to the Naga issue to the state of Nagaland.
“We support the peace initiative. The three of us requested the home minister that the neighbouring states should not, however, be affected in resolving the issue and it should be confined only to Nagaland,” Biren said.
Saying the people’s aspiration is his government’s aspiration, Biren added, “From my side, I told the home minister that neither my government nor the people of the state will accept breaking of Manipur.”
He also urged Rajnath not to do anything that may disturb the unity of the people of the hills and the valley, who have been coexisting harmoniously for ages.
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The Kolkata meeting comes at a time when hordes of civil bodies, which have been campaigning to safeguard Manipur’s territorial integrity, have intensified their call to the centre to make public the contents of the framework agreement signed between it and the NSCN (IM) in 2015.
The Congress has carried out sustained campaigns in various parts of the state on the same matter.
Commenting on this, Biren said, “They are following their role of being the opposition.” On Thursday, an apex body of various clubs of Thangmeiband assembly constituency, covering half of Imphal city, imposed a shutdown.
Many civil bodies have warned of triggering another ‘June Uprising’ if Manipur is sliced out to set up a greater Nagalim. During the public uprising triggered on June 18, 2001, against the extension of the NSCN (IM)-Centre ceasefire beyond Nagaland, eighteen protesters were killed in police firing.