UNC withdraws stir after talks offer

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By Sujit Chakraborty

NEW DELHI, January 23 (Vision Communications): By all indications, United Naga Council of Manipur is all set to withdraw its slew of agitational programme from tomorrow onwards to honour the Union Home Ministry’s official communique inviting the UNC leadership for talks scheduled for February 6.

It is reliably learnt that a three-member ministerial delegation headed by the deputy chief minister of Manipur Gaikhanbam will represent the state government  in the seventh round of talks to be held at the political level in  Naga dominated Senapati district.

The MHA will be represented by the joint secretary in charge of North East Shambhu Singh.

Although the UNC had observed a 12-hour bandh today in four Naga inhabited districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong to register their protest against “Centre’s dillydallying tactics,” and urgent meeting of the UNC presidential council has been called tomorrow to withdraw its series of movement schedule as the political level talks are already scheduled.

Talking to the Vision Communications, UNC president L Adani said on Thursday evening, “We have called an urgent meeting of the presidential council tomorrow to discuss on the MHA’s official letter inviting us to participate in the next round of talks to be held at the political level for the first time. All the six round of talks were held at the official level. We are very happy.”

Asked whether the UNC would withdraw agitation now, Adani said, “We have 16 members from all 16 tribes besides leaders of frontal organisations. All of us will discuss and decide, but it will be a positive decision since the centre has responded positively to our demand.”

Sources revealed that the UNC leadership had also sent an official communique to the Prime Minister last week urging for “immediate intervention” to resolve the impasse. Subsequently, The MHA has sent an invitation to the UNC leadership on January 22 for political level talks.

However, sources in the Manipur government has made it clear that they would seek total cooperation from the UNC leadership to expedite rapid development in all the hill districts and seek specific proposal, if any, from the agitating Naga leadership for all round development of the state.

“We will never allow any dilution of executive, financial or judicial power of the government of Manipur. However, we are ready to accommodate more representation from the UNC and more development oriented proposals to expedite the pace of growth in hill areas,” said a senior leader of the ruling group in Manipur.

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