Saturday, 8 August,New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday assured Manipur that its interests will be full protected while signing the final agreement with NSCN-IM. This was conveyed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh when the latter met him here.
Official sources said the Home Minister also allayed fears of change of geography of Northeastern states by assuring that Chief Ministers of the region would be consulted before the final agreement with NSCN-IM was signed. Rajnath Singh told O Ibobi Singh that the central government has made it clear to NSCN-IM that their main demand of integration of Naga inhabitated areas would not be met but more powers would be given to local bodies like autonomous district councils, the sources said.
The Manipur Chief Minister, along with his counterparts in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, had protested for not having consulted the neighbouring states of Nagaland before signing the initial accord with NSCN-IM on Monday.
The NSCN-IM, which had given up its original demand of sovereignty a few years ago, has been asking for integration of Naga inhabitated areas in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. All three states are opposed to the outfit’s demand. Sources said the Home Minister explained to the Chief Minister that a framework has been laid in Monday’s agreement and the final pact will be signed only after detailed discussions in coming months.