Recently, the United Naga Council (UNC) President Gaidon Kamei and Information & Publicity Secretary SK Stephen were arrested by the Government of Manipur. The arrests sparked outrage amongst the Naga community and they have approached Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju to solve the crisis.
Why were UNC associates arrested?
It is to be noted that the UNC President Gaidon Kamei and Information Secretary SK Stephen were arrested recently on the grounds of causing an economic blockade. The economic blockade has caused acute shortage of essential commodities including petrol and cooking gas. So much so that the school van services have been suspended and commuters are stocking up fuel for future use.
The UNC is against the Manipur government’s decision to make Sadar Hills and Jiribam full-fledged districts and called for the blockade claiming it would bifurcate ancestral lands of Nagas living in the State.
Reactions to their arrest
However, their arrest haven’t gone down too well and has sparked tremendous outrage amongst the Naga people. To voice a strong protest against the highly condemnable action of the State Government of Manipur, the Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) has formed a Committee for Joint Naga Civil Societies, Delhi (CJNCSD) on 28 November, 2016 in collaboration with various Naga Civil Society groups based in Delhi.
To solve the on-going deadlock in Manipur, the newly formed committee has called on Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 29 November, 2016 in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum to draw Centre’s Government attention on two focus points.
Firstly, they demanded for an immediate and unconditional release of the UNC cadres currently in Manipur Police’s custody. The second being moratorium against any unilateral readjustment of administrative areas by Government of Manipur, particularly involving Naga areas, considering the Framework Agreement signed between Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) in the presence of Honourable Prime Minister on 3rd August, 2015.
‘The Committee will launch a democratic movement in New Delhi for immediate and unconditional release of the UNC leaders and demand for direct Centre Government intervention in the present Manipur crisis,’ the press release said.