Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi
Singh has sought clarification from the Centre on media
reports that the government is considering granting a `supra
state body` status to Nagas settled across the Northeast to
enable them to preserve their culture, identity and customary
laws under one body.
Official sources said that the chief minister wrote
letters to the Prime Minister and the Union home minister
after reports were published in a section of the local media
that the Centre was considering keeping all Nagas in Nagaland,
Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam under a `supra state
body` before Christmas.
According to the media reports, the Centre was weighing
the option after having talks with the NSCN-IM which has been
holding peace talks with the Centre for more than a decade.
Singh, according to the sources, clearly laid down the
state government`s position on the issue that the state
government should be consulted before taking any final
decision and asserted that the territorial integrity of
Manipur would not be compromised at all costs.
The letter demanded assurance from the Centre that
territorial integrity of the state be kept intact while
negotiating with the NSCN-IM which has been demanding a
greater Nagaland by interrelating Naga-settled areas of
Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with the present Nagaland
Senior Manipur Opposition leader of the Manipur
People`s Party O Joy said any attempt to break up Manipur
would bring very bad consequences.
Eighteen people had been killed in Manipur during mass
uprising when a BJP-led government at the Centre, holding
peace talks with the NSCN-IM, had stated that a ceasefire
agreement with the NSCN-IM would be extended `without
territorial limit` in June, 2001. The statement was later