Naga people reject creation of 7 new districts in Manipur

Newmai News Network Senapati | December 12   The Naga people’s consultation convened by the United Naga Council (UNC) on December 12, attended by Naga tribe councils, frontal and regional organisations, intellectuals, church leaders, parliamentarians, social leaders and members of the general public has rejected the creation of seven (7) new districts proposed by the Manipur State Government.   The Naga people have also endorsed the executives of the United Naga Council to use all possible means towards intensifying the people’s movement for safeguarding the rights, land and resources of the Naga people. In this regard, the UNC executives in consultation with the Presidential Council will constitute a working committee with members from amongst senior activists.   One of the positions drawn out of today's consultation stated, "It is the position of the Naga people that the land and people are inseparable. The people’s movement was launched against the Government of Manipur’s plan to bifurcate our land. The Government of Manipur’s response was to arrest our leaders treating them as criminals." Another recommendation of the December 12 consultation stated that the declaration of 7 new districts by the Government of Manipur on December 8, 2016 on the pretext of administrative convenience without consulting the stakeholders is utter disrespect of the 4 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed by the Government of Manipur with various Naga organisations and assurance given by the Government of India and in violation of the constitution by willfully bypassing the Hill Area Committee. "The Naga people condemn this as an act of administrative hegemony of the communal Government of Manipur. The creation of new districts which affect the interest, land and resource of the Naga people is therefore rejected".   The consultation also recommended that "in the sharp social divide on communal lines in the present state of Manipur where it is impossible to protect our rights, land and resources, the Congress Government of Manipur will be wholly responsible for any violence and communal clash that may take place due to the unconstitutional and arbitrary creation of new districts".   It has been the demand of the Naga people that the Government of India must expedite settlement of the Indo-Naga issue, another recommendation added.   "With the signing of the 3rd August, 2015 Framework Agreement and the progress made towards settlement of the Indo-Naga issue, the communal  Government of Manipur  has imposed the creation of new districts to put a spanner in the peace process for political mileage and extending its hegemonic rule over the Nagas and tribals," the consultation further recommended.   According to the Naga people, the ongoing Indo-Naga dialogue and framework agreement are for a "settlement and it would go against this very spirit to allow the Government of Manipur to vitiate the environment for a peaceful settlement". It also stated that the Government of India "must ensure that the intensifying communal design of the Government of Manipur is not allowed to ignite the explosive situation." It then said that the "Naga people also place the onus upon the Government of India for any eventualities that may arise from this sensitive situation while demanding immediate imposition of President Rule in the state."   Vice President of the United Naga Council, the General Secretary of United Naga Council, the President of Chandel Naga People’s Organisation (CNPO), the President of Naga People's Organisation (NPO), the President of Tangkhul Naga Long, the Chairman of Zeliangrong Baudi, President of Naga Women’s Union, the President of All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), the Convenor (South) of Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) jointly signed these recommendations.