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Manipur, Assam groups take divergent approach to NSCN (IM)

NSCN-IM cadres perform a drill at Hebron near Dimapur. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Naga peace process began with the NSCN (IM) declaring a truce in July 1997.

Groups in Manipur and Assam have taken divergent approach to dealing with the “territorial threat” perceived to be etched on the final settlement with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, or NSCN (IM), expected soon.

The Naga peace process began with the NSCN (IM) declaring a truce in July 1997. A solution has been elusive despite several rounds of talks since.

A team from the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), a ‘nationalist’ group based in Manipur capital Imphal, on January 21, visited the NSCN (IM) headquarters at Hebron near Nagaland’s Dimapur town and met the Naga outfit’s general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, and other senior leaders.

“We agreed unanimously to work together for peaceful co-existence among different communities of Manipur and to shape a future for the Northeast without letting a third party, the Government of India, interfere,” COCOMI convenor Sunil Karam said.

This is believed to be a significant development in a State with a history of cold conflict between the Meitei community dominating the Imphal Valley and the Nagas inhabiting the hills around. A majority of the members of the NSCN (IM) are from the hills of Manipur.

On the other hand, the extremist Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) operating out of central Assam’s Dima Hasao district, vowed to oppose any territorial threat the Naga peace deal might bring. In a statement on Thursday evening, its publicity secretary Ringsmai Dimasa announced a 24-hour shutdown in Dima Hasao and adjoining Karbi Anglong districts to mark the “martyrdom” of two people in an anti-Naga Accord protest on January 25, 2018.

January 25 is commemorated as Dimasa Martyrs Day in honour of Probanta Hakmaosa and Mithun Dibragede who were killed in police firing during a protest triggered by a report that the Naga peace deal would lead to taking away large swathes of land where the Dimasa tribal people live in Assam.

The DNSA also opposed the setting up of a detention camp in Dima Hasao district for people excluded from the National Register of Citizens.

R-Day shutdown
The chiefs of six extremist groups, in a joint statement issued on Thursday night, announced the boycott of “India Republic Day” celebration and a 12-hour shutdown across Western South East Asia (WESEA) on January 26.

The United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent, led by the elusive Paresh Baruah had given a separate boycott call.

The joint statement was signed by Sainkupar Nongtraw, general secretary of the Hynniutrep National Liberation Council (Meghalaya); N. Oken, chairman of the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup and K. Laba Meitei, president of the Kangleipak Communist Party (both Manipur); H. Uastwng Borok, president of the National Liberation Front of Twipra (Tripura); Jiban Singh Koch, chairman of the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (Assam and West Bengal) and J.K. Lijang, chairman of the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (Assam).

The Manipur-based Socialist Democratic Front of Kukiland, a group of Kuki extremist outfits not on talks mode, has also called for a boycott of Republic Day in “all Kuki-dominated territories in India”.

News Source The Hindu

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