Delhi sticks to 'no Lim' stand
Source: The Sangai Express / Times of India

New Delhi, June 25 2010: Indicating the Centre's position on the Naga insurgent outfit NSCN (IM) demand for 'Nagalim' (greater Nagaland), Union Minister for development of North Eastern region (DoNER) BK Handique on Thursday said it would not be possible to change the boundaries of the North Eastern States.

Integration of all Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland has been a key demand of the Naga militant group, engaged in peace talks with the Centre for over a decade.

"It will be difficult to change the borders of the North Eastern States.

If somebody wants a bigger State, then land will have to be taken from other States.

There will be stiff resistance to such a move," Handique, who hails from Assam, said when asked about the progress on the Naga peace talks.

Earlier this month, another round of peace talks was held between the Centre and NSCN (IM) where the contentious issue of integration of Naga-inhabited areas figured.

On ULFA, Handique said the peace initiatives with the outfit have started in the "right direction" as some very senior leaders of the outfit have backed negotiation to end the decades-old insurgency problem in Assam.

"It (the peace initiative) has started in the right direction.

We are hopeful of a positive outcome," he said adding that he had also discussed the issue with PM Manmohan Singh.

On whether the Centre will consider giving amnesty to top ULFA leaders currently lodged in various jails in Assam, Handique was quoted as saying by a news agency that the issue may be considered during the talks.