TODAY -

Centre working on Naga 'autonomy' : Ravi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 04 2015: Centre's interlocutor RN Ravi has made it very clear today that the Centre is working on giving some kind of 'autonomy' for Nagas in Manipur as part of its solution for the NSCN (IM) .

Ravi, who is also the Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee, continued his consultation on the NSCN (IM) peace talk with civil society organisations of Manipur for the second day today at an Imphal hotel.

After consulting groups from the valley and hills including United Naga Council and Kuki Inpi, Manipur yesterday Ravi held another round of consultations with more citizen groups today.

Among others, Ravi met a seven-member delegation of Citizens Committee, Manipur (CCM) for one and a half hour during which a wide range of issues were discussed.

The committee's chairman and former Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam led the delegation.

Other members of the delegation are Prof W Nabakumar Singh of Manipur University, senior advocate Khaidem Mani, veteran journalist BB Sharma, CPM leader Ksh Shanta, assistant convenor of CCM Roshan Maisnam and journalist Khelen Thokchom.

"Ravi spoke about giving some sort of autonomy to the NSCN (IM) as a solution for the NSCN (IM).

He sought our views on the proposed autonomy," Khaidem Mani, a member of the delegation told reporters later.

W Nabakumar said that the delegation strongly pressed for taking into consideration views of all stake holders while finalising the final deal.

Responding to the delegations' strong demand that Manipur's geographical and political entities should not be affected by the final peace pact, Ravi was categorical in stating a 'big no' to division of Manipur in any way, the members said.

Ravi was insistent that instead there is a real problem for the Nagas and it should be given recognition and people in the valley should start working on bridging the gaps between the hill and valley.

"Ravi also sought views of the delegates on the idea of repackaging the existing Autonomous District Council so as to give some autonomy for the Nagas in the Manipur hills," another member said.

Ravi, however, clarified that there is no time frame for signing a final peace accord with the NSCN (IM).

He also indicated that the consultation process would continue until a consensus on the accord is found.

Responding to questions on activities like extortion by the NSCN (IM) cadres in Manipur, Ravi maintained that since cease-fire is not enforced in Manipur it is very difficult for the Centre to monitor their activities in the State.

Ravi also informed the delegation that he told the UNC delegation to call off the ongoing economic blockade as it would complicate the situation further.

The UNC has called a ten-day long blockade beginning November 2 midnight to protest the three Bills Protection of Manipur People Bill, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill and Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second amendment) Bill, which were passed by the State Assembly on August 31 .

The UNC is also protesting the State Assembly's resolution, which was passed on the same day urging the Centre to amend Article 3 of the Constitution to make taking prior consent of the affected States mandatory while forming a new State.

This is the second time Ravi has consulted public organisations of Manipur.

He had consulted several organisations in September.

He left Imphal in the afternoon.


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