Demands of militants unrealistic, says Manipur CM

Imphal, Feb 18: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Saturday said that demands of the militant groups in the state are unrealistic and brushed them aside as “pipe dreams”. Speaking at the formal launch of Deputy Speaker Presho Shimray’s election campaign, Ibobi said, “If the demands are reasoble and realistic all of us are ready to follow the footsteps of the armed groups”. “Some valley-based outfits are demanding the pre-merger independence status of Manipur while some hill-based outfits are demanding a separate homeland to be carved out of the present territory. These are impossible demands,” he said.

“The gas, the Kukis, the Meiteis and others are the children of the same soil. There could be some misunderstandings here and there, which can be settled,” the Chief Minister said. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who was present in the function said, “Tamenglong is the district from where the highest number of youths were conscripted in the NSCN(IM). As a result it is the most backward district in the state.” He added that in the last 15 years of the Congress government, there have been giant strides in development even in the tribal areas.

Speaking at a political conference of Bharatiya Jata Party at Awang Sekmai in Imphal west district, spokesperson Okram Joy said that the framework agreement between the Indian government and the tiol Socialist Council of galand — Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) shall not affect the people of the state.

“The Indian government had signed the agreement within the ambit of the constitution and as such it cannot hurt any community or the territorial integrity of the state,” Joy said.

However the Congress leaders have been refusing to accept such oversimplifications pointing out that those who speak on it have not seen the agreement. The All Manipur Students Union has been launching agitations demanding the details of the framework agreement. (IANS)