Sinlung /
29 April 2012

Manipur MP Moves Bill To Protect State Territory

Guwahati, Apr 29 : Inner Manipur MP Thokchom Meinya Singh on Saturday moved a Private Member Bill in Lok Sabha calling for protection and preservation of the state's territorial integrity.

He proposed insertion of a new Article - 371 CA - in the Constitution as a special provision for Manipur.

The bill said that Article 3 of the Constitution of India shall not apply to the state of Manipur - meaning the Centre's power and authority to change the boundary of any state of the Union under Article 3 shall not apply in the case of Manipur.

According to the MP, the new Article envisages complete protection and preservation of the geographical area of Manipur as it existed at the time of its merger with the Indian Union in 1949.

An amendment in article 3 to protect Manipur's boundary has been a longstanding demand of Manipuris who fear that the Centre might sacrifice the state's territory while negotiating with Naga rebels.

Meinya's move came at a time when the Centre is planning to finalize a peace deal with NSCN (IM), which is demanding integration of all Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast under one administrative roof. Manipur has been opposing any move to slice its territory while trying to bargain for a solution with the militants.

During the summer of 2010, the Manipur government had barred NSCN (IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah to visit his native Somdal village in Ukhrul district of the state despite getting a clearance from the Union home ministry. Manipur government had argued that Muivah's visit will disturb peace in the state.

In June 2001, Manipur erupted in anger when the Centre tried to extend the ceasefire with NSCN (IM) beyond Nagaland.

Around 18 protestors were killed in police firing when agitators burnt down the state assembly building in protest against the Centre's move. The government had to make a U-turn and limit the ceasefire within Nagaland to tame the violent protests.


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