Do not to believe in tendentious rumours: PM tells NE people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that people of the northeastern states should not believe in "tendentious rumours" but depend on the government statement and assured that "no one-sided decision" would be taken on the Naga issue.

He conveyed this while talking to an eight-member team of three civil organisations of Manipur who called on him on Thursday morning on the issue of the framework agreement the Centre had signed with the rebel group, NSCN(I)M on August 3, 2015.

"As the Prime Minister I assure you that people will be consulted and no one-sided decision shall be taken on the burning issue," Modi is reported to have assured the delegates.

Leaders of United Committee Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation (AMUCO) and Committee on Civil Society Kangleipak (CSSK) have been camping in Delhi since December 16 to urge the national leaders not to take a "one-sided decision" on the issue.

Delegation's spokesperson and UCM president Johnson Elangbam told IANS that the team had a 15-minute meeting with Modi during which he gave a patient hearing. "We had detailed discussion by putting all the cards on the table," he said.

The team members said that all sections support the efforts to bring about a durable peace but the interest and territory of Manipur should not be compromised.

The NSCN(IM) demand is that all the "Naga inhabited" areas in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Praddesh should be brought under one administrative roof of Nagaland.

Johnson said that Manipur's territory is over 2,000 years old and has a written history of this long period. On June 18, 2001 there was an uprising in Manipur when the ceasefire with the NSCN(IM) was extended "without territorial limits".

Modi told the delegates that people should focus on development, peace and welfare.

During the meeting the Manipur CSO leaders also submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister urging him to consult stakeholders of the state before finalising the Framework Agreement to which Narendra Modi assured that there will be no threat to the integrity of Manipur.

The CSOs team met the PM on Thursday at 11.10 am and presented him a statuette of Kanglasha.

During the meeting, the CSO representatives informed Modi that the secret nature of the Framework Agreement has created a sense of uncertainty among the people of Manipur. Despite the verbal assurance of several Union government leaders including the PM himself, statements and reports from different groups and quarters coupled with non-disclosure of the agreement’s contents create an insecure feeling, they told the PM.

After hearing their grievances, Modi prevailed upon the delegation not to believe in unofficial statements from third parties. They should believe in the central government and the Centre had said nothing conclusive in this regard. The only truth will be the official statement of the central government, Modi reportedly told the team.

Modi further asked the team to bring up any matter or suggestions at any time without any hesitation while assuring that his government would always discuss such suggestions.

The CSO delegates also informed the PM that people of the state would never accept any provisions that might affect the integrity and interest of the state in the long run even though those provisions do not affect the integrity of the state now.

They also urged him not to repeat the 2001 blunder, which resulted in the June 18 uprising while adding that such mistakes would prove fatal.

Modi also urged the team to keep faith in the assurance of the Prime Minister of the country while adding that there would be no such things in the agreement. He also assured to consult all stakeholders before finalising the issue and arriving at an agreement.

Noting that Manipur is the most under-developed state in the northeast region, the PM urged the people of the state to direct their attentions and efforts towards bringing development and financial improvement in the state. Peace and development should be the foremost priority of the people as a citizen, he added.

Mention may be made that AMUCO president Ph Deban, UCM president Elangbam Johnson and CCSK vice-president Jeetendra Ningomba are leading the state CSO delegation, which has been meeting leaders of different political parties and union government in the national capital since December 16 pressing for upholding the territorial integrity of Manipur while resolving the Naga issue.

All sections of people including the Manipur Assembly have been clamouring for the disclosure of the details of the agreement. During the winter session the assembly took one unanimous resolution to demand disclosure of the details.

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