Stalemate over Muivah visit on, Centre seeks time

Talks between Centre & NSCN-IM over proposed visit of T Muivah to his village didn`t make any headway.

Kohima: Talks between Centre and NSCN-IM
today over the proposed visit of T Muivah to his native
village in Manipur failed to make any headway with the
government seeking more time and the rebel group remaining
firm that the Naga leader will go ahead with his plan.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai and Centre`s
interlocutor for Naga talks R S Pande, accompanied by Nagaland
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met Muivah at Viswema village near
the Nagaland-Manipur border, where he has been camping since
May 5 enroute to Somdal village, and held a closed-door
meeting to break the impasse.

Pande told reporters after the one-and-a-half-hour
meeting that they had conveyed to NSCN-IM and Naga civil
society leaders the decisions taken by Manipur government on
lifting of curfew from Mao Gate, the scene of recent violence,
replacement of state forces with central paramilitary forces
and ex-gratia for families of Mao Gate violence victims.

"We told them that Muivah should wait till a congenial
atmosphere is created since he is covered under the Z-plus
category security and we are working to create such an
atmosphere," Pande said.

He said the Centre was monitoring the situation in
both Nagaland and Manipur and would continue talks with the
Manipur and Nagaland governments, NSCN-IM, civil societies and
all other concerned to break the impasse.

The NSCN-IM, however, reaffirmed its resolve to go
ahead with Muivah`s visit, saying it would not wait long for
the stalemate to end and accused the Centre of "double
standards" over the present situation created "solely
by the Manipur government".

Coming out of the meeting, a visibly disappointed
Muivah simply said, "Hope, the government of India will
resolve the present situation."

Senior NSCN-IM functionary V S Atem told newsmen that
the Centre should have applied its authority to prevail upon
the Manipur government to break the impasse which, he said,
was not the creation of Nagas but of the Manipur government.

"We will not wait for long. There is no reason to go
back from here to Hebron (NSCN-IM headquarters near Dimapur).
We will go ahead with our programme to Somdal village any
way," he asserted.

Atem, also the convenor of NSCN-IM steering committee,
said they told Pillai and Pande about their disappointment
over the whole matter since the proposed visit was finalised
by the Centre.

Earlier, Pillai and Pande met Nagaland Governor Nikhil
Kumar, Rio and his Cabinet colleagues here and visited a
relief camp about 12 km south of Kohima, where fleeing
villagers from Mao Gate were taking shelter.

During their visit to the relief camp in the state`s
Southern Angami district where 1,000 villagers had taken
shelter following the May 6 Mao Gate violence, Pande requested
the inmates to return home.

Pande said they had nothing to be scared of since
curfew had been lifted from the Mao Gate area and state police
forces replaced with central paramilitary forces in their

The district administration, along with the Southern
Angami Public Organisation, has been looking after the relief

Funeral services of two deceased students in the Mao
Gate violence were held this morning attended by thousands of
mourners. Their bodies were buried at Kalinamai village in
Senapati district in Manipur.

Leaders of Naga civil societies appealed to the people
to exercise calm and restraint and not be carried away by
emotion when simmering tension prevailed on both sides of the
inter-state border.

Pillai and Pande had yesterday visited Imphal and held
meetings with Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and
others over the stalemate triggered by the state government`s
objection citing possible communal violence.

Meanwhile, Naga civil societies have called a meeting
with their counterparts in Imphal tomorrow in a bid to defuse
tension and maintain peace among various communities of
Nagaland and Manipur. The meeting will be held in Guwahati.

On the other hand, seven Naga MLAs in Manipur today
re-submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Speaker N
Budhichandra Singh in protest against the state government`s
opposition to Muivah`s entry, Assembly sources said in Imphal.

Their resignations were not accepted since they were
faxed, they said, adding the MLAs had to submit their letters


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