Manipur starts talking on Naga issue

Imphal: Will there be a solution to the ethnic Nagas within Manipur question? The first round of political-level talks among Naga organisations, the Manipur government and the Union home ministry on the demand for a separate administration for the Nagas in Manipur got off to a start on Thursday.

However, representatives the Union and state governments were tight-lipped on the outcome of the hour-long meeting held at the conference hall of the District Rural Development Agency in the headquarters of Senapati district. A large number of armed police and army personnel were deployed around the talks venue.

The United Naga Council (UNC) and the Committee for Alternative Arrangement (CAA), also did not give out too many details to the media.

This is the seventh round of tripartite talks on the demand for “an alternative administrative arrangement” for the Nagas in Manipur outside the purview of the state government.

However, this is the first time the talks are being held at the political level. In the earlier rounds, only officials of the state government and home ministry attended the meetings.

Manipur Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh sent a four-member team, led by commerce and industries minister Govindas Konthoujam, to the meeting, the other three being rural development minister Francis Ngajokpa, who was elected from Senapati district, the Assembly’s Hill Areas’ Committee chairman Charltonlien Amo and Congress MLA N. Biren Singh.

The three-member Union home ministry team was led by joint secretary (Northeast) Shambhu Singh. The  Nagas were represented by a 10-member delegation led by UNC president L. Adani and CAA chairman Paul Leo.

The talks were delayed by 90 minutes, as the chopper carrying Shambu Singh could not land on time because of bad weather.

The closed-door meeting lasted 65 minutes. It had to be curtailed as Shambhu Singh returned to Guwahati to deal with the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary problem.

Govindas said the state government team had nothing to say. “We don’t have any comment,” he said. Leo, however, said the sending of a political team by the Manipur government for talks was a “positive development” as the issue was political in nature. He added that talks would continue.

A UNC release later said, “The talks were concluded on a positive note with an agreement to take the parleys towards political reality.”

CAA secretary Gaidon Kamei said, “The talks were cordial. We discussed the issue at length. More than this, we have nothing to say”.

Share Button
Posted by on February 7, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,Manipur,NORTH EAST. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login