Muivah's proposed visit to birth place...
Stalemate still on, Centre seeks more time

Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

Kohima, May 12 2010: Talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM today over the proposed visit of T Muivah to his native village in Manipur failed to make any headway with the Government seeking more time and the rebel group remaining firm that the Naga leader will go ahead with his plan.

Our reporter adds from Imphal that one company of the CRPF is informed to have reached Mao this evening.

The process of withdrawing State forces from Mao has been initiated, said a source.

Union Home Secretary GK Pillai and Centre's interlocutor for Naga talks RS Pande, accompanied by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met Muivah at Viswema village near the Nagaland-Manipur border, where he has been camping since May 5 enroute to Somdal village, and held a closed-door meeting to break the impasse.

Pande told reporters after the one-and-a-half-hour meeting that they had conveyed to NSCN-IM and Naga civil society leaders the decisions taken by Manipur Govt on lifting of curfew from Mao Gate, the scene of recent violence, replacement of State forces with Central paramilitary forces and ex-gratia for families of Mao Gate violence victims.

"We told them that Muivah should wait till a congenial atmosphere is created since he is covered under the Z-plus category security and we are working to create such an atmosphere," Pande said.

He said the Centre was monitoring the situation in both Nagaland and Manipur and would continue talks with the Manipur and Nagaland Governments, NSCN-IM, civil societies and all others concerned to break the impasse.

The NSCN-IM, however, reaffirmed its resolve to go ahead with Muivah's visit, saying it would not wait long for the stalemate to end and accused the Centre of "double standards" over the present situation created "solely by the Manipur Government".

Coming out of the meeting, a visibly disappointed Muivah simply said, "Hope, the Government of India will resolve the present situation" .

Senior NSCN-IM functionary VS Atem told newsmen that the Centre should have applied its authority to prevail upon the Manipur Government to break the impasse which, he said, was not the creation of Nagas but of the Manipur Government.

"We will not wait for long.

There is no reason to go back from here to Hebron (NSCN-IM headquarters near Dimapur).

We will go ahead with our programme to Somdal village anyway," he asserted.

Atem, also the convenor of NSCN-IM steering committee, said they told Pillai and Pande about their disappointment over the whole matter since the proposed visit was finalised by the Centre.

Earlier, Pillai and Pande met Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar, Rio and his Cabinet colleagues here and visited a relief camp about 12 km south of Kohima, where fleeing villagers from Mao Gate were taking shelter.

During their visit to the relief camp in the State's Southern Angami district where 1,000 villagers had taken shelter following the May 6 Mao Gate violence, Pande requested the inmates to return home.

Pande said they had nothing to be scared of since curfew had been lifted from the Mao Gate area and State police forces replaced with central paramilitary forces in their villages.

The district administration, along with the Southern Angami Public Organisation, has been looking after the relief measures.

Funeral services of two deceased students in the Mao Gate violence were held this morning attended by thousands of mourners.

Leaders of Naga civil societies appealed to the people to exercise calm and restraint and not be carried away by emotion when simmering tension prevailed on both sides of the inter-State border.

Pillai and Pande had yesterday visited Imphal and held meetings with Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and others over the stalemate triggered by the State Government's objection citing possible communal violence.

Meanwhile, Naga civil societies have called a meeting with their counterparts in Imphal tomorrow in a bid to defuse tension and maintain peace among various communities of Nagaland and Manipur.

The meeting will be held in Guwahati.

On the other hand, seven Naga MLAs in Manipur today re-submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Speaker N Budhichandra Singh in protest against the State Government's opposition to Muivah's entry, Assembly sources said in Imphal.

Their resignations were not accepted since they were faxed, they said, adding the MLAs had to submit their letters again.