By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 22: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has served a deadline of 72 hours to the State and Central Governments, to explain to the public whether the ceasefire agreement between NSCN (IM) and the Central Government, is applicable in Manipur or not.
Speaking to media persons at UCM office at Lamphelpat today, its president Sunil Karam warned that if the authorities concerned fail to meet the deadline, a protest deadlier and bigger than the June 18, 2001 uproar, will follow.
If the news report published by a local daily which contained a supposed statement of NSCN (IM) turns out to be true, then it means that the Central Government has made a fool of the people of Manipur for the last 18 years, he alleged.
Sunil continued that as per the statement of the NSCN (IM) the cease fire agreement extends to Manipur and the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015, covers all the Naga inhabited areas other than Nagaland as well.
He narrated that on June 14, 2001, the Central Government and NSCN (IM) signed the Bangkok Declaration and the said agreement contained the words 'without territorial limits' which resulted in the June 18 of 2001 incident in which 18 people were martyred.
Many others have also perished due to similar issues, he said adding that due to the intense backlash from the people, the Central Government removed the controversial words and on July 27, 2001, it assured the people that the agreement would cover only Nagaland.
However, from 2001 till date, the dishonest attitude and scheming nature of the Central Government has resulted in apprehension in the minds of the people, as apart from establishments of NSCN (IM) designated camps at Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong, its cadres are openly collecting money from vehicles along the National Highways of Manipur.
NSCN (IM) cadres are also resorting to killings and abductions openly, he added.
The UCM president continued that now, NSCN (IM) has come out boldly saying that the ceasefire agreement extends to Manipur too.
But the past and even the present Government have often claimed that no designated camps of the outfit are present in the State. As such, it is the responsibility of the Central and State Government to clarify to the public, he said and slapped a deadline of 72 hours on the Centre and State Government.
The UCM president further explained that if the Indian Government is content with appeasing only a particular community or outfit, it will result in tension and unrest in the region and in the long run, it will not be a good development for all involved.
On the other hand, UCM secretary general Khuraijam Athouba said that if the statement of NSCN (IM) turns out to be true, it will be a sign that the State Government has kept mum all this time even after having complete knowledge of the agreement between the Centre and the outfit.
If the State Government is sure that the ceasefire agreement does not concern or cover Manipur, then it should make a bold clarification within 72 hours, he demanded.
He also demanded the Government to remove all designated camps, if present in the State, and to put an end to the open extortion carried out by the NSCN (IM) cadres along the National Highways of Manipur.
Even if weapons are drawn and bullets are fired, the Government should not turn tail and run but instead should give a befitting reply, he said.
If the State Government cannot do anything, then it means that the ceasefire agreement is in effect in Manipur under a mutual understanding between the outfit and the Central Government, even if it is not mentioned on paper, he alleged.