Senior Citizens flay Supra State Body plan

IMPHAL, Nov 17: Taking grim note on the report of the Government of India proposing to establish Supra State Body for the Naga people settled in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Senior Citizens for Society Manipur asked the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to immediately discuss the issue for a detailed explanation from the Central Government authorities.

Speaking to newspersons at the RIMS Road office of the Society today, its president N Benoy said for too long people of Manipur had been on the defensive mode inspite of the Centre frequently attempting to disintegrate Manipur on ethnic lines.

Asserting that time has come for the masses to launch offensive measures to foil all sinister plot to create division in the society, Benoy called upon NGOs concerned for an emergency meeting to chalk out appropriate response to the Central Government.

Terming the Centre’s plan for Supra State Body in the three North Eastern States as yet another appeasement policy to the NSCN (IM), he said demand for an ‘alternative arrangement’ for Manipur cannot be ruled out in denunciation of continuous threat to the emotional and territorial integrity of Manipur.

Speaking at the occasion, Society’s general secretary Prof L Sadananda Singh opined that inspite of lack of clarity on the Supra State Body the said plan is without doubt yet another testimony that the Centre is  not interested in upholding or respecting Manipur’s emotional and territorial integrity.

Describing the Centre’s move as double standard and a part of the policy to pit one community against the other in this multi-ethnic State, he also dismissed as baseless and misleading contention from certain section of the society that the Nagas are discriminated upon.

Opining that without first amending the Indian Constitution the Supra State Body concept would remain impractical, he expressed that Governments of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are unlikely to approve the Centre’s move.

Commenting on the raging issue, advocate Khaidem Mani stated that due to its constitutional invalidity effectiveness of  Supra State Body will remain doubtful.

Such a move of the Centre which only suggest existence of a sovereign state within another state of similar status tantamount to not creating communal disharmony in Manipur but also amounts to taunting the common masses, he maintained.

Joining at the media briefing, executive member of the Society, Lt Col (Retd) T Hemo Singh conveyed that from the theoretical-political angle supra state body is a trend setter for the disintegration of Manipur.

Pointing out that the Society has taken serious note of the ‘extremely dangerous’ development of the politico-social crisis in Manipur and adjoining areas, arising out of the publication of the report on said issue, he said the surcharged political environment has come out as a consequence of the deliberations and understanding between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM to the concept for a political solution of Nagaland, and the Nagas as a whole.

The core committee of the Society has perused all the available documents and details published by the regional and local newspapers, statement by the Chief Minister of Manipur, leaders of political parties, politicians, and statements from the civil societies of the state, he said with an affirmation that Manipur will face an unending political, constitutional, administrative, and Law and order problem if the wishes and aspirations of the Manipuris to protect their age-old territory is dumped unceremoniously.

Consequently, the core committee resolved that Supra State Body, conceptualised by the Government of India and the NSCN-IM, in the present form, texture and colour, if implemented, will tantamount to constitutional invalidity within the meaning and context of the Law of the Land, Hemo explained.

Further stating that ‘Greater Nagaland’ and the ‘Supra-State Body’ are the two sides of the same coin, he asserted that ‘Alternative arrangement Territory’ proposed by the Nagas of Manipur under the guidance of the NSCN-IM is closely linked to ‘Supra­State Body’ concept.

Implementation of the ‘Supra-State body’ political concept in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, with Nagaland as the ‘Supra-State’ (super­power above the three States), will have far-reaching political and constitutional crisis, which may lead to the disintegration of Manipur, a fact ­which will not be in the best interest of the Union of India, he cautioned.

Hemo further remarked that the theoretical concept of ‘Supra-State Body’ is politically unwise, socially divisive in colour, and negates secularism, the cherished national identity of India as well as Manipur.


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