UNC leaders freed unconditionally

IMPHAL, Mar 20: United Naga Council (UNC) president Gaidon Kamei and information and publicity secretary SK Stephen were finally released unconditionally by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal East today.
Gaidon and Stephen were declared innocent by CJM, Imphal East Aribam Noutuneshwari Devi and acquitted them. The Court also closed six different cases against the UNC leaders.
The six cases against the duo were registered at Mao, Tadubi and Nungba police stations in connection with the economic blockade on National Highways, which the UNC lifted on Sunday midnight. They were arrested and sent to judicial custody then.
The Court also told the duo to appear before it on March 27 to help the Court in closing the cases against them.
“We really appreciate the new Government and its initiative and positive response,” Gaidon Kamei said.
IG (Administration) S Ibocha, SP Imphal West N Herojit and Advocate General Th Ibohal arrived at the Court in connection with the release of the two UNC leaders.
Meanwhile, a big reception programme was organised at Senapati Town Hall this afternoon by the UNC. Naga leaders and public attended the programme.

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UNC still against dists creation : Gaidon

IMPHAL, Mar 20 : Even though the economic blockade was lifted after holding the tripartite talk, United Naga Council (UNC) is still against the creation of seven new districts.
This was reiterated by UNC president Gaidon Kamei while talking to media persons after he along with information secretary Shangkhel Stephen came out of the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal East.
The two UNC leaders were warmly welcomed by a large number of supporters and their family members at the Court complex.
Gaidon Kamei said that the issue of the districts creation will be brought up during the next round of tripartite talk.
He expressed hope that all the outstanding issues including the districts creation would be settled amicably.
When asked whether UNC believes that their demands would be fulfilled by the new Government led by BJP, he replied that fulfilment of the demands depends on progress of the next round of talk. Exuding confidence that positive results would be arrived at during the talk, he said that UNC needs support from every section of the society.

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HC declares UNC’s blockade illegal

In line with the decisions of the Supreme Court, the High Court of Manipur has declared the more than four months old economic blockade of the United Naga Council (UNC) as illegal.
A full bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice RR Prasad, Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin passed an order to this effect on March 3.
“It is now high time to pass an order for getting the economic blockade lifted as the persons/organisation responsible for imposing economic blockade have been violating the fundamental rights of the citizens in order to satisfy their political wish at the cost of miseries of the people which has never been in the interest of the State rather it is proving to be a great obstacle in the progress of the State”, noted the full bench.
The High Court directed all authorities concerned of the State Government and the Central Government including the DGP, IGP (L&O), GOC 57 Mountain Division and Inspector General of Assam Rifles to ensure smooth vehicular traffic over NH-37 as well as NH-2 immediately.

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UNC condemns

Senapati: The United Naga Council (UNC) has strongly condemned the bomb attack at the residence of a Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate K Leisiyo in Imphal on Thursday. UNC general secretary S Milan stated that UNC is against any form of violence.

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Appear without fail: Court asks UNC leaders

IMPHAL, Feb 27: A full bench of High Court of Manipur has directed United Naga Council (UNC) president and information secretary to appear before the Court again on March 3 along with their counsel without fail and communicate with other office bearers of the Naga apex body to be present on the next date.
UNC president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Shangkhel Stephen appeared before a full bench of the Court comprising of Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin.
The Court asked the duo whether they have consulted their counsel that imposition of economic blockade is illegal as per a Supreme Court ruling. Junior counsel of the two UNC leaders submitted before the Court that he is representing on behalf of them as their senior counsel is out of station.
The Court asked the junior counsel to submit a fresh vakalatnama of him. It also asked the two UNC leaders to communicate with other office bearers of the council by sending a letter to make them present before the Court on the next date of hearing. Fixing March 3 as the date for further hearing of the case, the Court told the leaders to arrange another counsel if their counsel is not going to be able to present or else the Court would provide a lawyer from Legal Service Authority.

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HC sets Feb 27 for UNC leaders

IMPHAL, Feb 22: United Naga Council (UNC) president, information secretary, Additional Solicitor General of India and Joint Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs (North East In-Charge) appeared before High Court of Manipur today.
UNC president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Shangkhel Stephen are currently lodged in Manipur Central Jail.
The duo was asked to appear before the Court on February 27 again after consulting their counsel.
The Court also asked Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) North East, Satyendra Garg to submit their report on March 1. The direction was given by a bench of the Court comprising of Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin Singh.
During the Court proceedings, the two UNC leaders were asked whether they have the knowledge that imposition of bandh and blockade on National Highways is illegal as per the Supreme Court ruling to which the duo replied that they do not have such knowledge. The Court then asked the leaders to discuss the apex Court ruling with their counsel and appear before the Court again on February 27 with written submission. Counsel of the two UNC leaders also appeared before the Court on behalf of Warngam Anal, vice-president of the Naga apex body during which he submitted that the latter had tendered resignation from the vice-president post and primary membership by submitting relevant documents.
As the remaining UNC office bearers failed to turn up before the Court and by their representative counsels, the Court passed a direction to send another notification to the UNC office bearers to make physical appearance on February 27. Additional Solicitor General of India, SK Narasina submitted that MHDCL has been approved to hand over the construction work of the National Highway and as per a report, road stretch around 15 km along the highway is in a bad condition. He further submitted that the road stretch needs major repairing before the onset of rainy season.
He assured the Court that a report in this regard would be submitted on next date.
Advocate General of Manipur, I Ibohal gave submission before the Court that from February 19 onwards, there has been open sale of petrol in 69 oil pumps of the State and the price list of essential commodities in Imphal area had already been submitted.

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Judicial remand for UNC leaders

United Naga Council (UNC) president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Shang-khel Stephen who are currently lodged in Manipur Central Jail were produced before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal East today.
The Court remanded the two UNC leaders to judicial custody till March 3.
Speaking to newspersons after coming out of the Court room, Gaidon Kamei asserted that dialogue is the only means for bringing solution to any issue. He said that solving the blockade issue may take time but sooner or later a dialogue would be held to end the stalemate over the blockade. He further said that he cannot say the date for holding the dialogue at the present stage. Gaidon added that he is looking forward to hold the dialogue and bring amicable solution to the issue. Since their arrest, the two UNC leaders have been making physical appearances before the Court for every 15 days. The duo will be produced before the Court of CJM Imphal East on February 21 and the High Court of Manipur on February 22.

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Naga ancestral land is non-negotiable : UNC

Courtesy NDTV
Senapati, Feb 16 : In Manipur, crippled by an economic blockade for over three months, the agitating United Naga Council (UNC) and the ruling Congress have drawn swords at each other. With Manipur Congress Legislature Party (CLP) writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare UNC, the top body of Nagas living in Manipur, as an “unlawful organisation”, the UNC has hit back claiming Congress is playing a ‘communal’ politics.
In poll-bound Manipur, UNC has clamped economic blockade on two highways since November 1 in protest against the State Government’s decision to create seven new districts by bifurcating the Naga areas of the State.
In an exclusive interview to NDTV, UNC general secretary S Milan said that under no circumstances the land of the Naga areas in Manipur can be divided, calling it a “non-negotiable” position.
Here are excerpts from the interview with UNC General Secretary S Milan:
NDTV: After over 100 days, the economic block continues. There were rounds of talks and then the Manipur Government alleged that you backtracked. Is that the case?
S Milan: The reality is that the on-going economic blockade is the expression of the Nagas for having bifurcated the Naga ancestral lands in Manipur for creation of seven new districts in the State without consulting the land owners who are the Naga people.
NDTV: The Centre called you for a talk and after the talks claimed that “substantial process” was made. Everyone expected UNC to call off the blockade. But that did not happen ?
S Milan : The core issue should be the rollback of the creation of seven new districts which was created by the Ibobi Singh Government. If the Government addresses the core issue, lifting of economic blockade might not be a tough job.
NDTV: With election just around the corner, it seems the blockade has become a rather political with both the Congress and the BJP playing a blame-game. How does UNC see this situation ?
S Milan: I would like to appeal to all political parties to respect the sentiments of the Naga people. They must not use this for political gains. They must say, ‘let us respect the sentiments of Naga people’ – meaning all the political parties and the Government must uphold the letters and spirit of the Memorandum of Understandings and the written assurances in past that Naga areas will be safeguarded.
NDTV: So what is UNC’s final stand ? What will make you lift the blockade ?
S Milan: They must rollback their decision of new district creation. We are the landowners. The Government of Manipur is not the landowner of our ancestral land. They must respect this. That is the only solution. Or if there is a better solution we will see in future, we will discuss with all Naga tribes but one thing is clear that Naga ancestral land is non-negotiable; We cannot compromise on our land under any circumstances.
NDTV

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UNC rolls up sleeves to meet ‘unlawful’ tag move of CLP

IMPHAL, Feb 12: The United Naga Council (UNC) has condemned the Congress Legislature Party’s decision to urge the Central Government to declare them as an unlawful organisation.
Speaking to media persons at Senapati this afternoon, UNC advisor Paul Leo said that their agitation is not directed against any community.
It is rather disheartening that the CLP attempted to project the Nagas as outlaws.
The UNC is not a village level organisation. The UNC represents 16 Naga tribes and the Naga hill ranges and it is working for the people of Manipur, Paul Leo claimed.
It was a wrong step on the part of the State Government to send a letter to the Central Government seeking declaration of such an organisation as unlawful, he remarked.
The Government signed four MoUs with Naga groups in 1981, 1992, 1996 and 1998 regarding creation of new districts. Moreover, the Central Government gave a written assurance in 2012 stating that the State Government would be asked to consult all stake holders before creating any new district.
The State Government by creating seven new districts on December 8 last year put everything in complete disorder. The State Government completely overlooked the understanding to consult Naga people before creating new districts and this would not bring any good result, he added.
The UNC would hold a meeting in the next couple of days and take a decision, Paul Leo said.
If any untoward incident breaks out, the State Government should be held accountable, he added.
UNC general secretary S Milan accused Chief Minister O Ibobi of trying to project the UNC as the offender.
The Chief Minister has been blaming the UNC for the suffering of the people of Manipur but the UNC’s agitation is not directed against any community, Milan said.
Creation of new districts without consulting stake holders or obtaining prior informed consent is not acceptable. The UNC is not an antagonist of the people of Manipur.
“Naga’s lands are well established and it is our right to protect them. The way the CLP meeting humiliated us despite knowing fully well that the ongoing movement is a political one is intolerable”, Milan asserted.
After taking recourse to physical and legal aid, the State Government is now seeking political aid, he decried.
The attempt to declare UNC as an unlawful organisation is akin to treating all 16 Naga tribes as outlaws, decried Naga Women Union general secretary Asha Wungam.
She went on to claim that all Naga people recorded in the country’s census reports are members of the UNC.
Blockade is not an objective of the Naga people. They have been only supporting the UNC’s objection to creation of new districts.
ANSAM president Seth Shatshang said that they had no inclination to impose blockades but they were compelled to take recourse to such forms of agitation after the State Government failed to listen to democratic forms of agitation.
“We know that the State Government has an intention to declare us as an unlawful organisation but we would not accept it if only the executive members are declared as outlaws. If the UNC should be declared as an unlawful organisation, all the Naga people should be declared as outlaws because it is not a body of the executive bodies alone”, Seth Shatshang added.

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