COCOMI reiterates stand on Manipur integrity, submits memorandum to Amit Shah

COCOMI, in a memorandum, stated that it is still firm on its stance against the merger of any territory of Manipur to Nagaland, creation of Pan Naga Council Body/Province/Territorial Council or any separate administrative unit or divisions or setups.

The Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) remains firm on its stance to keep intact the territorial integrity of Manipur, reminding the government of India that the final agreement of the protracted peace talks between GOI and Naga groups should not affect Manipur or its people.

Apprehensive over media reports that a final agreement will be signed by September, COCOMI on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah reminding the later of COCOMI’s position with regards to the peace process. 

COCOMI, in the memorandum, stated that it is still firm on its stance against the merger of any territory of Manipur to Nagaland, creation of Pan Naga Council Body/Province/Territorial Council or any separate administrative unit or divisions or setups. 

The matter was already presented during discussion held on November 25, 2019 where Union minister of Home, top officials of central government and chief minister and education minister of state were present, it recounted.

While pointing out the assurance given by Home minister to consult stakeholders of Manipur before finalising the Naga issue, it said that there has been no communication on the progress of the peace talks thereby implying that the GOI had not accepted any proposal from NSCN (I-M), which may have an effect on the state of Manipur and its people.

A memorandum which was already submitted to prime minister on December 28, 2017 and union home minister on November 25, 2019 was also enclosed in the latest memorandum. 

In the enclosed memorandum, COCOMI reiterated that Manipur is an old nation with history and written records of more than 2000 years and its boundary which was retained from 1834 must not be altered.

Manipur is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious state which has evolved through time in harmony. As such no action should be initiated to bring disharmony among various communities, it said. 

“If the outcome of peace talks with NSCN (I-M) is going to impact other states, it should have been a multilateral talks. Any act which which may impact Manipur without consulting the state as an equal partner cannot be accepted and will encourage further taking up of arms by other ethnic groups,” it cautioned.

The final agreement should be considered only for Nagaland as the Naga plebiscite of 1951 did not cover Manipur and was confined to Nagaland only, it held.

It further demanded that the territorial boundary of Manipur as defined in the First Schedule of the Constitution presently must be protected through an amendment of Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution. 

The COCOMI, which is an umbrella organisation consisting of seven CVOs, had also urged for speeding up the developmental pace in the hills areas through generous financial support from the  Centre and for devolution of powers to the grass-root bodies.

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First Published:Sept. 22, 2020, 11:01 p.m.

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