TODAY -

Shambhu warns, UNC dares;Jan 23 rally replaced by shut down
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, January 20 2014 : A day after Shambhu Singh, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, issued warning to United Naga Council (UNC) against going ahead with its agitational programmes of disrupting national projects specially construction of Trans Asian Railway line and 400 KV power grid transmission line in Manipur and boycott of Republic Day agitation, UNC has toughen its stand.

To register its protest against the alleged provocative statement of the Joint Secretary, MHA, UNC has announced that the civil action of a peaceful rally scheduled to be held in all the Naga District HQs on January 23 has been cancelled and would be replaced by a total 12-hour shut down from 6 AM to 6 PM on the same day i.e.23rd January, 2014 .

In an exclusive interview to the Delhi based news network, Vision Communications yesterday, Shambhu reacted strong to the UNC threat of agitation and declared that "Centre will come down heavily on UNC, and take recourse to various stringent provisions of law, if they dare to disrupt the ongoing construction work of the Trans Asian Railway line and 400 KV power grid transmission line in Manipur" .

The government is ready to face any eventuality.

The 400 KV transmission line is being built for Naga people living in the hilly interiors and not for the people residing in the valley area.

"Now Naga people should judge whether the UNC is working for the interests of Naga people or against the interest of Nagas," Shambhu observed.

The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, also ruled out any immediate talks with UNC.

The UNC has earlier announced three-pronged protest programmes including a mass rally in all four Naga dominated hill districts of Manipur namely Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong on January 23, boycotting of Republic Day on January 26, 2014, and ban on construction work in Trans Asian railway line and 400 KV power grid transmission line from February 3 .

Taking serious objection to boycotting Republic Day by UNC, Shambhu, "This has serious implications.

Either they don't consider themselves to be Indian or they call our Republic Day function as Indian Republic Day programme.

This statement has secessionist overtones and they should be very cautious before making any such statement" .

Clarifying the delay in holding political level tripartite meeting with UNC, Singh said, "the process has already started.

Manipur government has to discuss with all the political parties and talk to all the MLAs before holding talks at the political level" .

"Everyone has to be taken into confidence before initiating next round of talks to be held at the political level as promised by us in the last round of talks held in New Delhi on 30th August, last year.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha elections are approaching.

Delhi Assembly elections were held and the Chief Minister has to come to Delhi to attend the AICC session.

All these developments have further delayed the process" .

The MHA Joint Secretary continued, "I am really perplexed after seeing the press release issued by UNC.

I was waiting all this while.

They did not bother to communicate with me before chalking out such a harsh agitational programme.

And they mentioned that even if we invite them now for holding talks, the agitation programme will continue as per the schedule.

Then, what is the point of inviting them now? Let them continue with their agitation.

People of Manipur, particularly people living in the hill districts, will suffer.

UNC decision will lead the Nagas nowhere.

And we are not to be blamed for the consequences.

It is their unilateral stand" .

Meanwhile, responding to the statement of Jt.

Secretary, North East, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), UNC issued a statement today to set the record straight on its position.

In the statement, UNC asserted "the Republic day is not being boycotted.

A peaceful abstention from participating in the Republic Day has been called by the UNC besides other civil actions to demonstrate the displeasure of the Nagas in Manipur over the wilful insult to the Naga people and to the democratic process of dialogue which we have upheld with respect and to press for immediate intervention of the GoI with alternative arrangement.

In the last talk which took place at Delhi on 30th August, 2013 it was agreed that the next round of tripartite talk of the Government of India(GoI), Government of Manipur(GoM) & UNC would be held within the "outer limit" of 2 months.

This has not happened notwithstanding reminder communication dated 29th October, 2013 to the GOI and press statements on the matter issued on subsequent dates of 18/11/2013, 6/12/2013 and 10/12/2013 and also two occasions of limited bandhs of 48 hours" .

The GoM has misled and wrongly influenced the GoI to suppress democratic rights and the people's movement for securing their political aspiration.

It is the GOI which has initiated the dialogue process.

But GoI does not respond nor communicate, and leaves the process in a limbo, ignoring the fact that the democratic process of dialogue should be treated with respect and upheld with care.

Instead, there is sinister design to sabotage the peaceful and democratic dialogue process by criminalising the people's movement for securing their political aspiration, UNC observed, while announcing that to register its protest against the alleged provocative statement of the Jt.

Secretary, MHA, the civil action of a peaceful rally scheduled to be held in all Naga District HQs on the 23rd January, 2014 has been cancelled and would be replaced by a total 12 hours shut down from 6 AM to 6 PM on the same day i.e.23rd January, 2014 .

"At this critical moment, we appeal to our people to stand up unitedly in one accord and to effectively observe the total bandh in their respective jurisdictions.

Any individual who wilfully defies the bandh would be doing so at their own risk", the UNC statement issued by its Publicity Wing added.


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