Thousands of Nagas in Manipur Tuesday took out a peace rally in Naga-inhabited areas of the state, demanding an “early and honourable” settlement to the Indo-Naga peace talks.
The rally was organised by civil organisations under the United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Nagas of Manipur.
Representatives of civil bodies, student’s unions, tribe leaders and Naga women groups took part in the rally, held across Chandel, Kamjong, Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong districts.
In Ukhrul, the rally was led by UNC president S Khojonhn, with participants holding placards that said, “We want honourable solution”, “Respect unique history of Nagas”, “We support Framework Agreement”, among others.
It started from Dungrei Junction and Kharasom Junction and later converged at TNL Ground, Ukhrul, where a public meeting was held. Khojohn appealed to people to not “succumb to any provocation” as the peace talks “are at an advanced stage.”
“Hopefully this could be the last rally, God willing. Let us pray for the lasting peace we have been yearning for. We have been patient for over 22 years and let us not ruin it,” said Khojohn.
The UNC president said the Government of India is ready to concede with a regional autonomous council for Nagas in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh under the respective state governments.
A memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also submitted to the district administration.
The memorandum, endorsing the Framework Agreement, said, “While assuring our unwavering participation and support to the peacebuilding initiatives in our land, we earnestly entreat you to conclude the Indo-Naga peace process keeping in mind the Unique history and situation of the Nagas and based on the true spirit of framework agreement signed on 3rd August 2015.”
“We are also convinced that a separate Naga National Flag and Constitution must be recognised by virtue of the unique history and shall form the basis of the final agreement,” it said.
The memorandum was jointly signed by UNC, All Naga Student’s Association Manipur, Naga Women Union, Naga People Movement for Human Rights, Committee For Alternative Arrangement, Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong, Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long.