Sinlung /
07 March 2014

Telangana creation may spur demands from northeast

By Iboyaima Laithangbam
The imminent creation of Telangana State has come as the much awaited shot in the arm for several groups in the north-east which have been clamouring for the creation of new States on tribal lines. However for tactical reasons they are not making a hue and cry as yet.

The long standing demand of the Kukis is that there should be a Kuki homeland in Manipur. On the other hand, the Nagas have been demanding unification of the “Naga areas.” At the moment, the United Naga Council, a frontal organisation of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) which is holding talks with the Union government after signing a ceasefire 13 years ago is demanding “alternative arrangement” for the Nagas in Manipur. The UNC says that the Nagas don’t want to stay under the “communal government led by Okram Ibobi Singh”.

Some rounds of talks had been held between the representatives of the Centre and State government and the UNC. However there was no positive outcome as yet.

Other major organisations had objected to the demand for the vivisection of Manipur which has a written history since 33 AD. The Kuki organisations are now concentrating on the creation of a new district, Sadar Hills to be carved out of Senapati district. There have been different forms of agitations in furtherance of this demand. The denizens of Jiribam sub division of Imphal east district have been demanding creation of a new district despite the small population and area. There have been demands and counter demands among the people of Jiribam and Tamengkong district on territorial claims. Such turf wars are seen in case of Thoubal and Chandel districts and among some tribal organisations.

After some lull the people of four districts of Nagaland — Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire and Longleng comprising almost half of the State’s population have started their demand for vivisection of the State to create Frontier Nagaland. These four districts which were under North-eastern Frontier Agency (now Arunachal Pradesh) were merged with other parts which were under Assam in 1963 to form the Nagaland state. Public leaders of these four districts say that all these years the Nagaland government has been neglecting these four districts. The only way out is to create a new district.

When the demand had gained momentum the Union government tried to pacify the leaders by offering an economic package of Rs 300 crore for the overall development of these four districts. It was spurned. In the past the Nagaland government could not contain the agitations by the people of these four districts. There are indications that other communities in the northeast are making preparations to intensify their demands for homeland or at least new districts.


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