Rio asks Centre to decide its stand on Muivah visit
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Kohima, May 11 2010: The Nagaland government has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre spell out its position on the visit of NSCN(IM) leader Thuigaleng Muivah to his ancestral village in Manipur's Ukhrul district.

With Muivah camping at Visema village since May 5 after the Manipur government prevented him from entering the state, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has written to Singh following an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday.

The state government suggested that an official statement be issued by the Centre explaining its position and how the situation has built up since Muivah's programme was chalked up with its prior approval.

The Manipur government, which is opposed the NSCN(IM) leader's visit, has clamped prohibitory orders and deployed police at the Mao check gate to prevent his entry.

The Manipur government has held that Muivah's visit could disturb communal harmony as the NSCN(IM) has been demanding that Naga-inhabited areas in adjoining states be integrated under its concept of 'Greater Nagaland'.

The government has also pointed out that Muivah was an insurgent leader with many criminal cases pending against him in Manipur.

"The present situation has been created, in the first place, by the unwarranted and unjustified decision of the Manipur government to deny Muivah his birthright of visiting his native village in Ukhrul district for a peaceful purpose of meeting people of his own tribe after decades of absence," Rio said while blaming the Manipur government for the current situation.

He also pointed out that Muivah's trip had been planned with the prior approval of the Government following which the Ministry of Home Affairs had instructed both the Nagaland and Manipur governments to make arrangements, including security cover, for a week's visit.

The chief minister pointed to the "unwarranted action" by Manipur armed police in opening fire on Naga demonstrators on May 6, which had resulted in the death of two Naga youths and injuries to about 100 innocent Nagas.

Rio claimed that the volatile situation had the potential of spreading to other areas of Nagaland and Manipur and jeopardise inter-state relation between the two neighbouring states, and also the on-going Naga peace talks.

The letter gave a four-point suggestion to the Centre.

The Centre should ensure that Manipur armed police be withdrawn from Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, particularly in the sensitive areas along NH-39, and central paramilitary forces be deployed to restore confidence of the people.

A high-level central team should urgently visit the affected area to assess the situation and make recommendations for resolving the problem.

The Government must prevail upon the Manipur government to urgently take steps to rehabilitate displaced Nagas and make arrangement for their safe return, the letter added.