The Naga MLAs have arrived in New Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah following fresh violence in Manipur.
According to The Indian Express report, 10 Naga MLAs from the state arrived in New Delhi Monday, a day before their meeting with Shah.
“The MLAs were accompanied by Outer Manipur MP Lorho Pfoze who is from the Naga People’s Front (NPF), a BJP ally,” it said.
It added the Naga MLA contingent includes six from the NPF: Manipur Transport Minister Khashim Vashum, Leishio Keishing, Awangbow Newmai, Ram Muivah and Losii Dikho.
Two MLAs, S S Olish and Dinganglung Ganmei, belong to the ruling BJP led by N Biren Singh, while N Kayisii and Janhemlung Panmei are from the Conrad Sangma-led Nationalist People’s Party (NPP), also a BJP ally.
“Intellectuals and social activists from the Naga community also gathered Monday morning in preparation for the meeting with Shah. Although the Naga community has not been involved with the violence in Manipur, which has been between the dominant Meiteis and tribal Kukis over possible ST status for Meiteis, its representatives had requested a meeting with Shah when he visited the state earlier this month,” it said.
“At the time, he had no time to meet us. But he had told us to meet him on June 6. That is why we are here,’’ the report quoted the delegation as having said.
“During the meeting with civil society today, we have established that elected representatives and the civil society members from the Naga community are on the same page. We are concerned that a solution by the Indian government should not be for one community alone but for the entire region. A solution for just one community is meaningless. It will not solve anything. The Centre should strike a balance,” it quoted delegation as having said.
“We will raise concerns about the ongoing violence. Currently, this does not affect the Naga community, but we need to know how to cope with such a situation. Right now, we are concerned about a possible settlement agreement with the Kuki community – which the Home Minister has hinted at. An agreement also affects the Naga tribes directly. This is because much of the land that the Kukis dominate and claim as their own historically belonged to the Nagas. A settlement that does not take this aspect into account would be difficult to accept,’’ it quoted the delegation member as having said.
“Civil society actors from the Kuki-Zomi community have been pressing for ‘separate administration’ in the wake of the violence that has so far left at least 98 dead and internally displaced several hundreds,” it said.
It mentioned the Kukis and Nagas have shared a hostile relationship since colonial times, and have also had ethnic clashes in the past.
The Kuki insurgency gained momentum after ethnic clashes with the Nagas of Manipur in the early 1990s, with the Kuki arming themselves against Naga aggression.
“What needs to be impressed on the Centre is that the settlement affects us well, not just the Kuki-Zomi tribes. The consultation process for the settlement needs to have a much wider ambit and include the Nagas as well. The Central government cannot decide the councils for the tribes by consulting one community. It is also not enough to simply consult the elected representatives – the government needs to consult the Naga civil society as well,’’ a Naga activist was quoted as having said.