GUWAHATI: Protestors in Manipur, concerned over the outcome of Naga peace talks, have set November 4 deadline before the government to disclose the details of issues agreed upon.
“The Naga talks were not transparent and as such, people have no idea about the various issues discussed. We have asked the state government as well as the Centre to disclose by November 4 the details of the talks," Sunil Karam, coordinator of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), said.
The protestors are seeking an assurance from the Centre that the settlement of the vexed Naga issue will not hurt Manipur’s interests in any manner.
The state’s Imphal Valley observed a two-day shutdown on Thursday and Friday in response to a call by the COCOMI. The Meiteis (Manipuris) are in a large majority in the Valley and they are worried about the Naga pact.
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The worries stem from the demand of Naga rebels for the creation of a unified Naga homeland, called Greater Nagaland, by integrating the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur besides Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with Nagaland. The three neighbouring states have sizeable Naga populations.
Meanwhile, as the protests continued in Imphal Valley, the government has heightened security measures thereby deploying both central paramilitary forces and the army.
On Thursday, the Centre had said the Naga talks were yet to conclude and that it would consult all stakeholders including Assam, Manipur and Arunachal prior to settlement.
However, at the end of supposed last round of talks on Thursday, which was the deadline set by the government to end the process, politicians from Nagaland issued congratulatory messages.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had tweeted: “It is a historic moment and an occasion of great joy for all Nagas and the nation as a whole. Peace will now pave the way for genuine progress and true nation-building”.
This gave rise to speculations the issue had been sorted out and that only the final announcement is pending.