State’s integrity non-negotiable, asserts mass rally


By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Oct 26: A public alert rally was taken out here today under the auspices of the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) re-asserting the non-negotiability of the State’s integrity under any circumstances.
Later, a memorandum which categorically states that any solution to the Naga peace talk should not affect Manipur in any manner was submitted to the Governor and the Chief Minister.
The mass rally was flagged off from Kwakeithel Akham Leikai and it was guarded by a large number of police. In the rear, a fire tender of Manipur Fire Services followed the rally throughout its course.
Key functionaries of COCOMI led by coordinator Sunil Karam, leaders of different women organisations, volunteers of several civil society organisations and a large number of people belonging to different communities participated in the rally.  
As they marched up to Keishampat, the rallyists shouted slogans like “Integrity of Manipur cannot be compromised”, “We condemn communal policies”, “60 MLAs, go to Delhi”, Bring solution, not dissolution”, etc.  
They also carried placards which read similar to the slogans.
The rally was blocked by a large number of Manipur Rifles, IRB and CRPF personnel at Keishampat. As the rallyists halted there and shouted different slogans, there was traffic jam in all four directions for sometime.
Nonetheless, a team of COCOMI representatives led by coordinator Sunil Karam was escorted by police to the Raj Bhavan  while the other rallyists stayed behind at the Keishampat community hall.
At the Raj Bhavan, the COCOMI representatives interacted with Governor Dr Najma Heptulla for a few minutes before submitting a memorandum.
The memorandum categorically states that any solution to the vexed Naga issue must not be at the cost of the existing socio-political, economic and cultural setup of the State.
Any solution must not affect not only the territorial integrity but also the administrative set-up of the State.
Taking precedent from the Naga solution, in case such administrative changes are made, there may arise similar claims from other ethnic groups which would initiate balkanisation of Manipur, the memorandum warned.
If the Government of India fails to respect the history and culture of Manipur, the people of Manipur shall decide their own future, it added.
The memorandum also mentioned the assurances given to the people of Manipur by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the Framework Agreement on three occasions (February 25, 2017, January 4, 2019 and April 7, 2019).
After coming out from the Raj Bhavan, Sunil Karam told media persons that the Governor expressed serious concern over the Naga issue and said that she is well aware of the wish and sentiment of the people of Manipur.
“A week back, I talked with my Nagaland counterpart who is also the Government of India’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talk. A memorandum submitted to me a couple of days back by women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel had been forwarded to the Central Government and today’s memorandum would also be sent to New Delhi”, Sunil Karam conveyed as stated by Dr Najma Heptulla.
As conveyed by the COCOMI coordinator, Dr Najma further stated that as the State’s Governor, she has been working hard to avoid untoward incidents and maintain peace throughout the State.   
Further, the COCOMI representatives went to the Chief Minister’s office and talked with Chief Minister N Biren before submitting another copy of the same memorandum.
Notably, COCOMI was formed as a common platform of AMUCO, CCSK, HERICOUN, LIPUN and UCM on October 21 after interlocutor RN Ravi announced that the 22 year old political dialogue between Government of India, NSCN-IM and other Naga insurgent groups would be settled by October 31.
Since then, COCOMI has been spearheading different modes of civil movement against any possible impact on the integrity of Manipur and its administrative setup as a result of any solution to the Naga peace talk.
On the other hand, public alert meetings were held today at Khundrakpam, Pangei and Thangmeiband Panthoibi Shanglen in solidarity to the civil movements being spearheaded by COCOMI.