United Naga Council calls off 96 hour bandh

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MAnipur, IMPHAL, August 20: The 96 hour bandh called by the United Naga Council (UNC) seeking ‘alternative arrangement’ has been called off following an invitation from the Union Home Ministry for tripartite talks in the last week of August.

A statement issued by the Publicity Wing of UNC said, the decision for calling off the bandh followed an emergency meeting today.

The meeting had considered the letter received from the Union Home Ministry today afternoon wherein it was informed that the next round of tripartite talks of the Union Government, Manipur Government and the UNC would be held in the last week of August as per the convienance of the UNC.

The UNC had earlier called the 96 hour bandh, suppose to begin tonight, to protest the lack of sincerity and political will on the part of the Union government and the state government to carry forward the democratic process of dialogue on the demand for an alternative arrangement outside the Manipur government pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.

As per the statement, representatives of the UNC will be holding the 4th round of tripartite talks with the GOI and GOM on 31 August at New Delhi.

While asking for prayer support on the success of the talks, it has acknowledged the ‘preparations made by the tribal hohos and frontal organizations for the proposed bandh.

Meanwhile, the All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUCO) has cautioned the government that it will not remain silent if the unity, integrity and territorial boundary is affected as a result of the talks on alternative arrangement.

AMUCO President KT Rahaman told IFP that, if the territorial integrity of the state is going to be affected the rage of the Manipuris will even be greater than that of 4 August 1997 uprising and the 18 June uprising of 2001.

He further said, Manipur’s integrity should not be sacrificed for the sake of appeasing an armed group.

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