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Territorial Integrity of Manipur
(A Strategy for Peace)

Government of India and NSCN (IM) Cease-fire without Territorial Limits :

Its Adverse Implications

"The cease-fire agreement is between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) as two entities without territorial limits." As per the "Agreed Ground Rules for Cease-fire", NSCN will notify designated camps to the Cease-fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) and its armed Cadres will be allowed to move from one camp to another. The Ground Rules does not contemplate any role of the Government of Manipur/State Governments concerned in deciding the modalities of implementation of the ground rules.

There is a lot of misgiving about the Cease-fire in question, although the Union Home, the Prime Minister and the Government of India have been assuring that the territorial integrity of Manipur would be protected and preserved. It is because the Manipuris are convinced that the agreement at hand has threatened the boundary of Manipur and that its implementation will impinge on the legal and administrative jurisdiction of the Government of Manipur.

NSCN (IM) has claimed a large area of 1,20,000, which transcends boundaries of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland within India and of Myanmar outside the country, as Naga-inhabited areas (see annexure). The agreement for Cease-fire extension without territorial limits, arrived at after 4 year long parleys between the GOI and the NSCN (IM), and the agreed ground rules for its implementation, which will allow the NSCN (IM) to set up their base camps anywhere with permission for the armed NSCN (IM) cadres to move freely between such designated camps will legitimise the NSCN (IM)'s claim for territorial expansion at the cost of Manipur and other states. It will give the NSCN (IM) armed cadres license to free-run in those areas of Manipur and other states covered by their territorial ambition on the one side, and will reduce the concerned State Governments to mere spectators on the other. Above all, this kind of situation is fraught with the danger of being exploited by vested interests much to the detriment of National Integration.

Cease-fire Withdrawal - a Strategy for Peace in N.E. Region :

The express purpose of the GOI - NSCN (IM) agreement for extension of the Cease-fire in question was the facilitation of peace process. But the manner in which such critical and delicate issue was handled by the GOI - imposition of an unilateral decision taken in haste without any well-thought-out policy and in utter disregard of the concerned states and people - has set Manipur on fire and evoked widespread criticism/protest. What extraneous and compelling reason constrained the GOI to succumb to the dictates of the NSCN (IM), an insurgency group which has not accepted the Constitution of India ? Why the saner voice of the concerned states and people, who are law abiding and believe in National Integration, has been ignored ? A bad precedent is being created. The consequence will be too dangerous and will cost the Union of India dearly. The agreed Cease-fire extension without territorial limits, if it was really for the purpose of peace, has been nullified by the outright rejection by the people of Manipur and other concerned states. Review of the agreement and immediate withdrawal of the expansion of Cease-fire without territorial limits is the only viable strategy for peace in the N.E. Region.

Conclusion :

Territorial integrity is the past, the present and the future of Manipur. It is the pride of generations. The people of Manipur will never compromise on the territorial integrity of Manipur - come what may.





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