IMPHAL, Dec 12 : With Chief Minister O Ibobi high-lighting the threat issued by the United Naga Council that rail works and oil exploration drive at some areas in Tamenglong district would be stopped for two months from December 16 to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, an official team from the Home Ministry is currently in Imphal holding pow-wows with the UNC to settle the matter.
The UNC had issued the threat to protest the remark of the Prime Minister that the Centre is committed to the territorial integrity of Manipur.
Disclosing this to The Sangai Express, a highly reliable source informed that with the Chief Minister placing the matter before the Centre, the Union Home Ministry had deputed some of its men to Imphal to hold talks with the UNC and see if the matter can be resolved.
The men from Delhi are holding a closed door meeting with a team from the UNC at Imphal right now, said the source while speaking to this reporter today at about 7 pm.
Apart from lodging their protest against the statement of the Prime Minister on the territorial integrity of Manipur, the UNC has also raised the demand for an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas living in Manipur, pending a solution to the ongoing talks between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India.
“The Centre will take a decision on the threat of the UNC to disrupt the ongoing rail track laying work on the outcome of the present talks underway at Imphal,” said the source.
The Prime Minister, during his visit to Imphal on December 3 had announced that rail track laying work on the Jiri-Tupul line would be completed by March 2014 while the stretch from Tupul to Imphal will wind up by March 2016.
The Jiri to Imphal rail line has been included in the National projects and its foundation stone was laid on December 20 in 2004 at Jiribam by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Following the ultimatum issued by the UNC, the State Government had constituted a Co-ordination Committee. Principal Secretary of Transport, Ram Muivah is the chairperson of the Committee.