No question of designated camp here...
State Government tells Delhi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 30 2009: Even as the stand off between the Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) entered the 12th day today over the opening of a camp of the latter at Siroy village in Ukhrul district, the State Government has submitted a written missive to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister categorically stating that there can be no question of any designated camp of the IM group in Manipur.

Disclosing this to The Sangai Express today, a reliable source said that the minutes of the missive was drafted after the meeting of the Unified Command, which was held yesterday with the Chief Minister in the chair and attended by officers from the Army, Assam Rifles, CRPF, BSF and State police, besides civil servants.

In the missive the State Government has not minced any word in stating that Manipur does not come under the cease fire pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India.

As such the question of setting up designated camps of the rebel group in Manipur does not arise, said the source.

Referring to the contents of the missive, the source said that the State Government does not recognise any designated camp in Manipur and will not do so.

Interestingly, the Assam Rifles had earlier stated that it had 'taken note' of the existence of three camps of the NSCN (IM).

The camps are located at Bunning in Tamenglong, Oklong in Senapati and Phungchong in Chandel.

The Assam Rifles had also maintained that these camps were in existence before the cease fire came into force.

The cease fire is effective only in Nagaland and the phrase 'without territorial limits' which was announced in the Bangkok Declaration of June 14, 2001 was rolled back following the huge uproar in Manipur on June 18, 2001 and the days that followed.

The written missive was submitted to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister today, said the source and added that an immediate response from the Centre is yet to come.

On the other hand it is reliably learnt that the Centre has taken note of the situation and has started negotiations through the Ceasefire Monitoring Group.

The source further said that after the meeting of the Unified Command yesterday, all Central agencies operating in Manipur have sent their inputs to the Centre, particularly the Union Home Ministry.

As of today the Centre is currently keeping a close tab on the situation in Manipur, said the source further.

Meanwhile Chief Secretary Rakesh and the Principal Secretary (Home) DS Poonia left for Delhi today to attend the meeting convened by the Union Cabinet Secretary scheduled for tomorrow.

The meeting is being convened to discuss the flagship programmes of the UPA Government.

With serious concern being raised from different quarters over the Siroy situation, Outer Manipur Lok Sabha MP Mani Charenamei visited the village yesterday during which he acknowledged the positive role played by the villagers to avert any blood shed between the NSCN (IM) cadres and the Assam Rifles.

Besides supporting the villagers in their stand, the MP also received a memorandum submitted by the Shirui Non Violence Committee.

The memorandum which was submitted yesterday said that the Committee was formed under the motto 'To live a normal and peaceful life'.

Outlining the situation in the village since January 19, the Committee in the memorandum said that for the last 11 days the daily activities of the villagers have been paralysed which has adversely affected their economic and social conditions.

Besides this, the stand off has also created fear psychosis among the villagers which has affected their ability to respond to the challenges posed by the current situation, said the memorandum.

The Committee also expressed apprehension that if the stand off is allowed to fester longer, it may result in a situation in which the villagers have to face starvation in the future.

The memorandum then demanded that the two parties, namely "Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) should withdraw from Siroy at the earliest; the security of our lives, our livelihood and future survival should be guaranteed and should in no way be adversely affected at any cost as result of the siege." The memorandum was signed by the Convenor and Secretary of the newly formed Committee.