Greater Nagaland idea worries Manipur

Officials say Centre has indicated to the State the need for the formation of such an entity Manipur has been indicated that a “Greater Nagaland” may be on the anvil as part of the final Naga agreement that is under negotiation, a State government official said. On February 23, Naga interlocutor R.N. Ravi said the “Naga peace agreement is yet to be finalised and it will not compromise the territorial integrity of any State.” “Now they will have greater Nagaland, we were told by the Central government,” a senior State government official said on condition of anonymity referring to the ongoing negotiations. In 2015, the Centre signed a framework agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) to end the long- drawn Naga insurgency after it agreed to give up the demand for sovereignty. Six Naga political groups joined the discussions later. The demand for “Greater Nagaland” includes all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas including several districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The fears were on display at a massive “unity” rally held in the capital last week demanding that territorial integrity of Manipur be preserved. The rally was called by the United Committee Manipur (UCM). ‘Not anti-India’ “The rally in not anti-India. The demand of the people is that Manipur be kept intact,” the official added. Thousands of people were seen marching on the main streets of Imphal holding banners and raising slogans. Underscoring the differences in society, the United Naga Council gave a bandh call in the hill districts of Manipur as a counter to this rally. In a recent submission before a Standing Committee of Parliament, Mr. Ravi said that some special arrangement would be made for the Nagas, which has added to the apprehensions.

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