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Manipur will not part with land: CM
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
January 22, 2003 02:27 IST
On the occasion of Manipur's 31st statehood day on Tuesday, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said the state will not part with even an inch of land for the formation of Greater Nagaland.
"I met Prime Minister [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee along with fifteen members of the all-party delegation in the afternoon and we told him that while solving the problem of Nagaland, the government should not give rise to another problem by including the Naga-dominated areas of Manipur in Greater Nagaland. He has assured us that the integrity of Manipur will not be compromised," he said in Delhi.
He rejected the demand of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) that the Naga-dominated districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong should be part of Greater Nagaland.
"We have a 2000-year-old history. We have fought hard to get the present state of Manipur and we will not give away our land.
"Twenty-nine tribes are living in perfect harmony in the state. If the Nagas living in Manipur have any problem then we are more then willing to sort them out," he said.
Asked if he would allow underground outfits and students organisations to indulge in violence like they did in 2001, he replied in the negative.
"We will firmly deal with violence. There is no question of letting the state slip back to the kind of scene it witnessed in the past," he added.
He said there was no question of withdrawing the cases against NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah until he gave up his demand to include the Naga-dominated areas of Manipur in Greater Nagaland.
"Once he gives up his demand we will consider withdrawing the cases against him. We expect the Centre to invite us for talks before reaching any solution with the NSCN (I-M). We welcome the talks and a solution should be found to the Naga problem, but not at our cost," he added.