New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI) Civil society representatives from Manipur today put the onus of safeguarding interest of the state on the Centre while finalising framework agreement with Naga rebel group NSCN(IM). Also Read - Manipur Foundation Day 2021: Best 5 Places to visit in Manipur During Winter - Imphal, Thoubal, Ukhrul, Senapati, Bishnupur

An eight-member team of civil society bodies had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday as part of campaign to apprise the central leadership about apprehensions in Manipur over territorial and administrative integrity of the state due to lack of transparency in the ongoing Naga peace talks. Also Read - Foundation Day 2021 Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya: Know Date, Significance and History of this Day

These organisations include the United Committee Manipur (UCM), the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) and the Committee on Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK). Also Read - Nagaland's Dzukou Valley Wildfire Likely to be Fully Doused in 24 Hours: Officials

“In our meeting with the prime minister, we conveyed our concerns over statements, which are against the interest of Manipur, coming from various quarters about the framework agreement,” UCM President Elangbam Johnson, who is the spokesperson of the delegation, told reporters here.

He further said, “The PM asked us to have faith in his government and believe only in the official position and not anyone else. The onus is now on the Centre to safeguard the interest of Manipur.”

In the past fortnight, the delegation had also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. A meeting was also held with R N Ravi, centre’s interlocutor in talks with NSCN (IM), among others.

Stressing that the civil society organisations in Manipur are not against a peace agreement with NSCN(IM), Johnson said it should not be at the cost of the state.

“NSCN(IM) has demanded integration of Naga inhabited areas of the North East, a pan Naga cultural identity and autonomous administration of the region, but that affects Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur,” he said.

Therefore, any agreement reached between the Centre and the NSCN(IM) without consent of the affected parties will not be accepted, he said.

Johnson, however, said while the Centre has given assurance that geographical identity of the states would not be altered, concerns remained over creation of pan-Naga cultural identity and autonomous administration bypassing states, particularly in Manipur.

In August 2015, the Centre and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) faction had signed an agreement, paving the way to end the country’s oldest insurgency.

Termed as Framework Agreement, it has, however, failed to yield a final outcome.

Among others, the NSCN(IM) has sought integration of Naga inhabited areas of the North East and autonomy of the proposed region. The demand affects Manipur as the state has vast areas inhabited by Nagas.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.