‘Greater Nagalim’ issue: Sonowal’s silence deafening

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Amid the raging debate over whether Assam and Manipur will lose parts of its land to Greater Nagalim as per the Naga accord, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had come to power with the commitment to safeguard ‘Jati, Mati, Bheti’ (race, land and homeland) and to work to protect the rights of the indigenous people, has neither opposed the framework agreement nor asked New Delhi to reveal its contents.

It may be mentioned here that Assam and Nagaland share a 434-km border. Ever since Nagaland was created carving out parts of Assam’s Naga Hills district in 1963; the two states have been disputing their shared border – sometimes leading to deadly clashes. On the other hand, Greater Nagalim is NSCN-IM’s core demand. The cartography of the proposed Greater Nagalim includes large tracts of Assam, besides Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Though, on Thursday, the Union Home Ministry said that the Centre will consult all stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, before arriving at an agreement; the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) organised a mass protest in the State on Thursday to oppose any outcome of the Indo-Naga peace talks that could harm Manipur’s integrity. Manipur CM, N Biren Singh has appealed to the people to remain calm and categorically assured people that the Centre will not draw a conclusion to the Naga peace talks without consulting all the stakeholders. He uploaded a video on his facebook page regarding the same.

Meanwhile, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other indigenous organisations have opposed any outcome of Naga accord that could possess a threat for Assam; but CM Sonowal has not come up with any statement asking Centre to reconsider the agreement for the sake of the people of the State.

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