Manipur: Ibobi playing ‘Divide & Rule Policy’ says United Naga Council

Manipur: Ibobi playing ‘Divide & Rule Policy’ says United Naga Council

The creation of seven additional districts is another step to further chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh's divide and rule policy, the United Naga Council (UNC) charged while reacting to the creation of the new districts.

"It is like adding salt to the wound. It is an intentional policy supported by the Centre and Nagas will not remain a wwsilent spectator and will leave no stone unturned," the Naga organisation in a statement released late in the evening said.

It said Nagas will alone decide their fate and about their land and Nagas will not allow any external forces to meddle with the Naga ancestral land.

The statement said there will be Naga peoples' consultation meet on December 12 at 11 am at Senapati on the creation of new districts without consulting all sections of the people and all stakeholders, including the bodies representing the Nagas as assured.

Clarifying on the ongoing economic blockade the release said the UNC is compelled to release this press statement so that the general public and the concerned organizations can be informed and reminded once again on the stance taken collectively by the Council on the indefinite launching of economic blockade in the Naga areas in Manipur State.

It said the decision to impose indefinite economic blockade, including banning of construction of Trans Asian railways from Jiribam to Tupul and other national projects in all "Naga territories" with effect from midnight of 30th October was taken only when the state government did not pay heed to the 48 hour total shut down of Naga areas by the UNC against the "lopsided decision" of Manipur government to create the proposed Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full-fledged revenue districts.

"The wishes of the indigenous Naga people on the issue of the so called Sadar Hills have been expressed in the 4 memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the Naga people and the Government of Manipur(GoM); on 14th December 1981, between the Government of Manipur(GoM) and All Naga Students' Association, Manipur(ANSAM), 10th November 1992 between GoM and Naga Students' Federation(NSF), 27th September 1996 between the Government of Manipur and  United Naga Council(UNC) and ANSAM, and on 23rd June 1998 between the GoM and UNC and ANSAM agreeing upon that "not even an inch of Naga ancestral land and its original should be touched while creating any new district" and also written assurance given by the ministry of home affairs(MHA), Government of India on 24th November 2011," it said.

Ibobi Singh's "deceitful" intention is only to further divide and create animosity among the tribals as he already failed to enact the three "anti-tribal" bills (i.e. Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015; the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015) passed by the state Assembly in 2015 after the President of India withheld the "anti-tribal" bills.

"Therefore, his very intention of creating new districts is only for his political mileage," the UNC said.

It said government of Manipur under the leadership of Ibobi Singh did not bother to send representatives to New Delhi for the tripartite talk convened by the ministry of home affairs with the Naga organizations on November 15. Had he been serious enough to send his representatives, the situation would not have come thus far. His outrageous behaviour is responsible for the grave situation in Manipur.

"We condemn the immature conduct of the government of India. Instead of playing the role of a good mediator, GOI has done injustice to the Nagas by acceding to the request of the Government of Manipur for sending more central forces to the state. We want to remind both governments that the Nagas are inseparable with their lands and every Naga is obliged to protect and defend our ancestral land, people, identity, history, tradition, culture, custom and time honoured-institutions at all cost. We are the owner of our land and we will never allow anyone to decide for the Nagas. Therefore the carving out of Nagas' land to form/create the so called Sadar Hills and Jiribam sub-division into a full-fledged revenue district does not arise at all," it said.

Any organization, which expresses grievances or concerns to the blockade in the Naga areas should instead ask the government of Manipur to resolve the issue of Sadar Hills and Jiribam at the earliest.

"The UNC wants to remind all concerned organizations/clubs that our protest and movement is directed only against the government of Manipur and not against any community or group. The best wisdom to resolve the present crisis in the state lies with the government of Manipur and the government of India. As a matter of fact, UNC will call off the blockade immediately when written assurance is received from the state government and when our two leaders who were arrested without "any arrest warrant" is released unconditionally," UNC announced.

Source: Imphal Free Press

Image: internet sources

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