Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured the Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur that a pact signed by New Delhi with the NSCN-IM will not affect the territorial integrity of the three northeastern states. Rajanath Singh gave this assurance to Chief Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), Pema Khandu (Arunachal) and N Biren Singh (Manipur) when they jointly called on him at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Thursday, Biren Singh said here on Friday. The three Chief Ministers were summoned to take stock of the Nagaland developments amid mounting concerns in the three states after the central government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM signed the Framework Agreement in August 2015.
Biren Singh, who arrived here on Friday said, “We put the cards on the table. We told the Home Minister that people and governments of these states extend wholehearted support to the search for a durable peace in Nagaland by ending the decades old problem. “However, people are apprehensive of the territorial integrity as a result of the agreement with the NSCN-IM,” he added. The NSCN-IM has been demanding for long the unification of the “land of the Nagas” — by slicing off Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to form a Greater Nagaland.
Biren Singh said, “We told the Home Minister that our governments will have to abide by the wishes of the people. Manipur with a written history of over 2,000 years cannot undergo a vivisection now.” A committee of all political parties had been formed in Manipur to draft a memorandum to be submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. Biren Singh is likely to submit it to PM Narendra Modi shortly. The Congress is boycotting the committee questioning the stand of the Naga People’s Front, a BJP ally.
The United Naga Council has also boycotted Congress leader Gaikhangam, a Naga politician, for his alleged “anti-Naga” stand. All sections of people engaged in protests in Manipur feel that the Framework Agreement would be presented to Nagaland as a Christmas gift. The elected members in Nagaland have announced that a final solution should be reached to the dragging Naga issue before Assembly polls are held in the state early next year. Biren Singh said, “If any misunderstanding crops up as a result of the agreement, it will be contrary to the sinking of differences between the tribals and non-tribals after the formation of the BJP-led government on March 15, 2017.”