Naga Talks: Centre’s Interlocutor to consult 5 Prominent Personalities of Manipur

The Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, R.N. Ravi, has invited five prominent personalities of Manipur to hold discussions on the government’s process to finalise a final agreement with the Naga militant group, NSCN (I-M).

Official sources here said Ravi invited Amar Yumnam, professor of economics, N. Joykumar, retired professor of history, Ksh. Bimola Devi retired professor of political science – all of Manipur University, chairman of BJP Manipur vision document R.K. Ranjan and editor of Imphal Free Press Pradip Phanjoubam to New Delhi to hold the discussions on Wednesday.

Sources said all five would leave Imphal on Tuesday. Though the exact agenda of the discussion is not known, it is speculated that Ravi might place the Centre’s plan to finalise an agreement with the NSCN (I-M) under the framework agreement, signed in August 2015, before the dignitaries. Ravi is expected to seek their opinion and also a briefing on the ground situation of Manipur, especially the people’s reaction to the issue.

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Ravi called the discussion in the backdrop of growing pressure from the Naga people and the Nagaland government to make the final settlement before the Assembly elections and strong demand from Manipur to disclose the contents of the framework agreement.

Though the Centre had repeatedly assured that there is nothing in the framework agreement against Manipur’s interest, a sense of fear persists among the people of the state. Chief minister N Biren Singh repeatedly assured that the framework agreement would not disturb Manipur. The Congress has been campaigning in support of the demand. The party held a demonstration in Heingang, which is the chief minister’s constituency in Imphal East, on Sunday. Former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam addressed the gathering.

(Inputs from Telegraph)

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