IMPHAL, Aug 8 (PTI): Security has been tightened across Manipur ahead of United Naga Council’s proposed rallies in Naga-inhabited areas of the northeastern state on August 9 to press for successfully concluding the peace talks with the Centre based on the Framework Agreement.
In a statement, the United Naga Council (UNC) said rallies will be held in the district headquarters of Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel districts from 10 am on Wednesday.
“The inordinate delay in signing the final agreement is a cause of concern and has the potential to derail the peace negotiation,” it said.
The UNC, an influential Naga body, has appealed to all Nagas to participate in the rallies in large numbers.
It said the peace process made significant progress with the signing of the historic Framework Agreement between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015.
Supporting the cause, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), the apex body of the Kuki Tribes, has extended its support to the mass rally in all Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur.
“At a critical time wherein the tribal Kukis of Manipur are being subjected to bear the brunt of ethnic cleansing being unleashed by the majority Meiteis, aided and abetted covertly by the State machineries, the Kuki Inpi Manipur fully endorsed the proposed mass rally being organized by the United Naga Council,” a statement by the KIM said.
Naga Hoho, a powerful civic body of the Naga tribes, has asked the 10 Naga MLAs in Manipur not to attend the proposed assembly session from August 21, claiming that the Manipur government has been working against peace talks with Naga groups.
Most of the Kuki MLAs irrespective of their party affiliations are unlikely to attend the Manipur assembly session in view of the continued ethnic violence, according to leaders from the community.
There are 10 Kuki-Zomi MLAs, including seven from the BJP, two from the Kuki People’s Alliance and one independent, in the Manipur House which has a strength of 60 members.
Rioting between the Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi communities broke out in May after protests over a court judgment which seemed to favour the majority Meiteis who live in the Imphal valley and who have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status, currently enjoyed by Kuki-Zomi and Naga tribals in the state.
Meanwhile, Manipur police has appealed to the public not to believe in rumours and be aware of false videos.
“Any circulation of unfounded videos may be confirmed from the rumour free number – 9233522822 of central control room,” it said in a statement.