Manipur''s interests to be protected fully: Rajnath tells Ibobi

NEW DELHI: The Central Government has assured Manipur that its interests will be full protected while signing the final agreement with NSCN-IM.

uttara@tribuneindia.com

New Delhi, Aug 8

The Central Government has assured Manipur that its interests will be full protected while signing the final agreement with NSCN-IM.

At a meeting held between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh on Saturday, the Home Minister is believed to assured him that Northeastern states would be consulted before signing a final agreement.

Rajnath Singh is believed to have assured Singh that NSCN-IM has been told that their primary demand — to integrate areas inhabited by Nagas—would not be met.

However, the Central Government is learnt to be willing to give more autonomy to local bodies such as district councils.

The Home Minister is also believed to have apprised the Manipur CM of the yet-to-be-made-public deal.

The Manipur Chief Minister and his Assam and Arunachal Pradesh counterparts had previously protested against the peace accord signed on Monday, claiming that the deal was brokered without consulting them.

After days of negotiations, the Central Government signed a ceasefire agreement with Naga rebels on Tuesday. NSCN (IM), which gave up its initial demand for sovereignty a few years ago, continues to demand integration of areas inhabited by Nagas in the neighbouring states of Manipur, Arunchal Pradesh and Assam — a demand all three states vehemently oppose.

The NSCN (Khaplang), a breakaway faction of the NSCN (IM), which attacked and killed 20 Army men on June 4, is not a signatory to the accord, contents of which are yet to be made public. — PTI

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