Nagalim: Interlocutor Okayed Muivah's Visit
Union home minister P Chidambaram is deeply worried about the situation developing on the Nagaland-Manipur border where Naga leader, Thuingaleng Muivah, president of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN(I-M)], is staging a protest sit-in, demanding entry into Manipur.
Muivah is insisting that he be allowed to visit his native village Somdal in Manipur to pay homage to his late parents. The Okram Ibobi Singh government of Manipur, fearing an outbreak of violence in the state, has refused him permission. The NSCN(I-M) is demanding a ‘greater Nagaland’, which includes areas that currently lie in Manipur.
Security and intelligence agencies are aghast at how such a sensitive visit was allowed without consulting the respective state governments. While the home minister agreed that such visits need permissions, Manipur says it was never consulted.
Ironically, Muivah’s visit to Manipur was cleared by RS Pandey, who was appointed interlocutor for the Naga talks earlier this year by Chidambaram. Pandey had released a detailed itinerary of Muivah’s trip and asked the governments of West Bengal, Manipur, and Nagaland to make the necessary arrangements. Muivah reached Kolkata on May 2 and was provided Z-plus security cover. He was due to visit Somdal on May 8.
Incidentally, former union secretary and the previous interlocutor for Naga talks, K Padmanabhaiah, said that in the decade he interacted with Muivah, the latter never sought permission to visit Manipur. Padmanabhaiah refused to comment further.
Sources say the visit has allowed Muivah an excellent opportunity to unify various Naga factions. In fact, for years, the Nagas of Nagaland never acknowledged Muivah as their leader since he hailed from Manipur. Now, they are compelled to support him.
The Centre is concerned and the situation was discussed at a recent core committee meeting attended by prime minister Manmohan Singh and other ministers.