IMPHAL, April 28 (agencies): Lok Sabha member from Manipur Dr. Thokchom Meinya has introduced a private member`s bill which seeks to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of Manipur for all time to come.
Meinya`s move assumes significance in view of the NSCN(IM)`s repeated demand for a “Greater Nagalim”, which threatens the territorial integrity of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
This constitutional amendment Bill contemplates the insertion of a new Article 371 CA in the Constitution of India as a special provision for Manipur. According to this constitutional amendment Bill, Article 3 of the Constitution of India shall not apply to the state of Manipur, which means that the central government`s power and authority to change the boundary of any state of the Union under Article 3 shall not exist in the case of Manipur.
The new Article 371 CA envisages complete protection and preservation of the geographical area of the state of Manipur which existed at the time of its merger with the Indian Union in 1949.
“Manipur has been recognized as a political entity having a geographical boundary, a demographic identity and a long glorious history and tradition,” Meinya mentioned in the statement and added that Manipur joined the Union of India in October 1949 after a merger agreement was signed between the Government of India and the then Maharaja of Manipur Sep 21, 1949, which came into force from Oct 15, 1949.
“At that time, the geographical area of Manipur was about 22,327 sq km. The sanctity of this geographical area of Manipur which existed at the time of the merger with the Union of India must be given a constitutional protection and safeguard,” the MP pointed out.
He also mentioned that a series of resolutions had been adopted by the Manipur Legislative Assembly for the protection of the territorial integrity of Manipur.
The demand for “Greater Nagalim” has been a long-pending demand of NSCN(IM), who had been demanding control over all Naga-inhabited areas in neighbouring Myanmar, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, ever since they joined talks with the central government after signing a `ceasefire` agreement in 1997.
The greater Nagalim of the NSCN(IM) mainly includes four districts of Manipur – Tamenlong, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel. Besides, it also includes Assam`s Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao (formerly known as North Cachar Hills) districts and parts of the five other Upper Assam districts.
It also includes Dibang Valley, Lohit, Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.