The Core Committee of Political Parties, an umbrella of 10 opposition parties, has urged the Manipur government to cease the existence of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM) within the territory of the state.
The demand of the opposition group comes three days after the cadres of NSCN (I-M) allegedly assaulted and subsequently asked for extortion from a team of singers, led by All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), along the National Highway 37 Imphal-Jiribam road.
R K Anand, convenor of the political parties’ committee, pointed out that the ground rule of the ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (I-M) and the Government of India restricts extortion and illegal activities. Besides, the agreement is confined within Nagaland and is not extended to Manipur. However, the outfit has been carrying out anti-social activities in Manipur in total violation of the ground rules, he said.
He also blamed the Naga rebels’ illegal taxes for the unprecedented escalation of prices of commodities in Manipur.
“We have been tolerant long enough to such activities,” Anand lamented. “Why should the peace talks be continued if the ground rule is violated with heinous crimes. Enough is enough. They should not be allowed to exist in Manipur,” he added.
He also urged the state government to immediately put to an end to the activities of NSCN (I-M) and demanded a military or police action against the anti-social elements if necessary.
According to AMSU, the assault and subsequently extortion on the musician took place when their bus stopped at Nungba Bazar in Tamenglog district, for dinner at around 7:40 pm. Nungba Bazar is 124 km away from Imphal.
Manjit Sarangthem, president of AMSU, alleged that four persons, who claimed to be cadres of NSCN (I-M), had threatened the team and demanded tax for entering into the outfit’s territory.
Manjit claimed that the general secretary of the student’s body, Soibam Anil, was slapped by the cadre when confronted. The cadre took Rs 5000 from the team as tax, he said.
AMSU on Tuesday cautioned to take up agitations if the government fails to arrest the accused members of NSCN (I-M) within 72 hours.
Manjit stated that it is very unfortunate to learn that the terrorist group, which is under peace talks with the government of India, is harassing innocent civilians.
He alleged that the root cause of creating such crime along the national highway is all because of giving free hand to NSCN (I-M) by the Ministry of Home Affairs. He urged the government to deploy more security forces along the national highways.
In connection with the incident, a criminal case has been registered and investigations have begun, a statement by Police PRO W Basu Singh stated. He said maximum efforts are being made to arrest the culprits at the earliest.
The parties’ committee also urged the state government to take action against Manipur University vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey for refusing the extension of his leave given by the varsity authority until.
M Nara of CPI said even though Manipur university is a central university, it is primarily for the people and students of Manipur. The varsity has resumed its normalcy after an agreement was brought with varsity community and the state and central government to conduct an enquiry with the constitution of an independent enquiry committee.