Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday met Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh to inform the Centre of his government’s concerns about the Naga peace talks, ANI reported. The Union minister assured the chief minister that Manipur’s “integrity will be untouched”.
Naga rebel groups have been fighting for Nagalim, or Greater Nagaland, for decades. It is envisioned as a sovereign territory comprising Nagaland and “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, including parts of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.
“If our voice is not heard, if the consent of the State Assembly or of the people is not taken [after the Naga talks] then we will be nowhere,” the chief minister told ANI. “Then automatically we will have to leave our posts.”
The chief minister said he hoped the Bharatiya Janata Party-run Central government would formally inform the Manipur Assembly before taking any major decision involving the state. “We want to see a peaceful solution,” N Biren Singh added.
“If the Assembly agrees unanimously, we can say go ahead. Otherwise, it will be very difficult,” the chief minister told Hindustan Times.
In December, Rajnath Singh said the territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur would not be compromised while finalising the Naga peace accord.
The Centre has been talking to rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah) since a ceasefire agreement was signed in 1997. In 2015, the talks got a new lease of life after RN Ravi, the Centre’s interlocutor, signed a “framework agreement” with the group.