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HM assurance to GOM : Is it the only means left?

Once more Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh had stated that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured that state government of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will be consulted before the signing of the final settlement of Naga issue. It’s not a new words from the Chief Minister of Manipur. He had been saying this quite for sometimes in the wake of the public upraised. Then why the people cannot be convinced?
Well an assurance by the Union Home Minister conveyed through the Chief Minister of Manipur should have been enough to calm the people of the state from any kind of fear psychosis lingering to the mind of the people of the state. However, the trust deficit that they failed to bridge fails to calm the people of this state. It was not that people are skeptic to the political integrity of Union Home Minister Amit Shah but it was the bitter instances of those in the highest post of the state and centre had committed in the past.
If one remember, it was on June 13 of 2001 that the then Union Defence Minister George Fernandez, while speaking to a gathering at GM Hall here in Imphal announced that, no agreement that the people of the state opposed including extension of cease fire between the government of India and NSCN-IM beyond the state of Nagaland will be signed. It was on the next day, i.e.  on June 14, 2001, after the then Defence Minister had left Imphal, the then interlocutor of that time Mr. Padmabhaya , signed the agreement with the leadership of the NSCN-IM by adding three words to the extension of the cease fire –”without territorial limit”, which was against the assurance of the then Defence Minister of India a day before. The result of adding the three words that the defence minister assured to exclude it from the agreement , had burnt the entire state of Manipur. The world witnessed burning of the state legislative Assembly, along with many government quarters and offices of political parties. The tears still wet mothers, widows and son and daughters of 18 people who died during the bloodiest uprising for protection of the territorial and political boundary of the state. Left with no choice the then government had removed the 3 words “without territorial limits” from the agreement on July 27 of that year.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had assured many times that Manipur’s interest will never be hurt while solving or settling the issues with the NSCN-IM. The words were also echoed by many BJP leaders who are in power including the strong man Amit Shah , the Union Home Minister of the country. Unlike other Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah combo led government is a bit different. Since they started running the country most of the words promised by them have been seen fulfilled, no matter they get votes or not during election , they always stand with what they had promised to the people. The first term of Narendra Modi led NDA government witnessed many outdated law being scrapped after he announced that outdated laws will be scrapped while delivering speech at Medison Square garden. However, for reason best known, AFSPA is still not scrapped.
So the point wanted to drew the attention of the government is that if they really want the people to have trust in the government to believe in whatever announce or declare by the Prime Minister or Home Minister, let it be converted into action, leaving aside the political gain.
Manipur have been a more peaceful state today if the so called promises are being fulfilled. Now one way to calm the people and to restore the peaceful coexistence in the state is to let everything known to the public. Settling the issue of NSCN-IM is what people of the entire North east region have desired . What ever agreed and whatever the NSCN-IM demanded should be made public and it is perfect time now as the final settlement has been reached yesterday. It’s time now that  the government of India placed the demand of the NSCN-IM in public domain and also the agreed points of the government that the NSCN-IM had demanded. Otherwise , the trust deficit between the common people and the Political leaders running the country can never be bridged.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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