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Manipur CM Biren urges COCOMI to lift boycott on Sangai festival

Against this backdrop, Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave his assurance to COCOMI representatives that the Naga solution will not harm Manipur’s interest during a meeting held on Monday in New Delhi.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
November 27, 2019 9:43:25 pm
Amit Shah has assured Manipur's integrity won't be affected due to Naga peace deal: Biren Singh Manipur CM N Biren Singh urged Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) to lift boycott on Manipur Sangai Festival. (File) 

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has urged the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) to keep their words by lifting the boycott on Manipur Sangai Festival as the government has fulfilled their demands of calling a state Assembly session and fixing an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

COCOMI, an umbrella of civil society groups has been spearheading the agitation against any outcome that can hurt Manipur’s interest while finalising the Naga issue. As a part of its agitation, COCOMI has boycotted the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival, the annual tourism festival of the state.

Against this backdrop, Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave his assurance to COCOMI representatives that the Naga solution will not harm Manipur’s interest during a meeting held on Monday in New Delhi. The meeting remained inconclusive with COCOMI demanding a written assurance from Amit Shah, which was reportedly turned down.

As such, the group has convened a public consultative meeting on December 29, to take a consensus on the further course of action based on the assurance given by Amith Shah.

The Chief Minister felt that there should not be a further delay in lifting the boycott as the state and centre has played their part in delivering COCOMI’s demand. Moreover, the ongoing boycott must not jeopardise the festival which is not only the pride of Manipur but also a platform to promote the identity of the state to the world.

“Manipur Sangai Festival is not just a small event organised for entertainment. The festival also serves as an opportunity for the state to explore ways of boosting the economy. Which is why, COCOMI should lift the boycott immediately in the larger interest of the state”, he added.

Moreover, the Union Home Minister also told the representative that the Central Government would call them for consultation if there is any, which appears to be going against the interest of Manipuri people, emerges during negotiations with the Nagas.

The Chief Minister said that the winter session of Manipur Legislative Assembly would be convened by December 20.

N. Biren Singh further suggested that it would not be wise on the part of COCOMI to remain adamant despite repeated assurances from the Central leaders including the Prime Minister.

Singh further informed that after the meeting with COCOMI representatives, he had a separate discussion regarding Citizenship Amendment Bill with the Union Home Minister. In the meeting, the Union Home Minister informed him that the Centre is considering to insert a separate Clause for the protection of indigenous people of the North East, Singh asserted.

He appealed to the people to have faith in the Government and assured that the leaders will lead the people to fight against any policy that affects the state’s interest and its indigenous people.

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