Framework Agreement recognises integration of Naga territories. This was Rh Raising, Convenor of the Steering Committee of the NSCN (IM) during the Joint Council Meeting on Indian and Burmese Colonialism held at Camp Hebron on October 6. On the other hand Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh minced no word in stating that while an early solution to the Naga issue is welcome, it should not hurt the interest of Manipur in any way. Both were speaking from a position of strength. Rh Raising on the basis of the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) back in 2015 and N Biren on being the Chief Minister of Manipur and that too the Chief Minister of a BJP led Government. Juxtapose the two realities with the fact that the BJP led Government at New Delhi seems intent on working out a final solution and the veil of secrecy over the Framework Agreement and the reality that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself assured the people of Manipur that the interest of Manipur will not be hurt during an election campaign before the Assembly election held earlier this year. The truth may hence lie somewhere in between but this has not taken away the apprehension from the minds of the people. So was it clever use of word that Rh Raising used while addressing the meet at Camp Hebron-an inferred observation-or has it been laid down in clear cut terms that integration of all Naga inhabited areas is a must in the Framework Agreement ? This question has been raised in line with the statement of the senior NSCN (IM) leader, who said, ‘Framework Agreement recognises the sovereign rights of the Nagas and integration of all Naga territories is the legitimate right of the Nagas” meaning since the Framework Agreement recognises the rights of the Nagas, the integration of Naga inhabited areas is recognised.
Early days yet, but it should be kept in mind that this is not the first time that NSCN (IM) leaders have been talking about integration of all Naga inhabited areas ever since the Framework Agreement was signed. Not that there was no such demand earlier, but with the signing of the agreement, the demand of the NSCN (IM) has only given more apprehension to the minds of the people, particularly the people of Manipur. It obviously remains that no one should jump the gun and react overtly for the final word is yet to be said, but it is more than clear that many from the NSCN (IM) are not averse to voicing their stand openly. The only question is whether the BJP led Government at Delhi is agreeable to the posture adopted by the NSCN (IM) leaders, for the issue here is not a joke. Territorial integrity of Manipur should be seen beyond what happened on June 18, 2001, when the Centre inserted the clause ‘without territorial limits’ in the ceasefire pact signed between the Naga rebel group and the Government of India. What has added to the apprehension in the minds of the people is also the fact that in 2001, the Centre was under the BJP led NDA Government as it is now. Chief Minister N Biren and the State unit of BJP will need to do more than state their stand, but see what it can do to convince the Centre not to do anything that can plunge the State into fire. To put it plainly it is about integration-Naga integration and integrity-Territorial integrity of Manipur.
Source: The Sangai Express