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The Manipur government on August 19 said that it had earlier requested the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to make available a copy of the draft agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) to the state government to facilitate it to express its views, an official release said.

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An official release issued by the Home department of the Manipur government said that the state government had earlier requested the MHA to make available a copy of the draft agreement with the NSCN-IM to the state government at least one month before the date fixed for consultation so that it may be in a position to express its views and comments.

“On the Naga issue, there is no discussion yet between Manipur and the central government,” the release said.

According to officials in Nagaland, a nine-member team of NSCN-IM led by its chief negotiator Thuingaleng Muivah has been holding informal talks with the Centre since early last week in New Delhi as a prelude to the formal parleys expected to begin soon. Some significant development on the issue is expected by September.

While officials of the Home Ministry and the Nagaland government refused to say anything on the talks, the NSCN-IM delegation has expressed resentment against Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the Centre’s interlocutor for parleys with various Naga outfits.

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The NSCN-IM and intelligence sources said that while many of the 31 demands of the Nagas have been almost resolved, differences remain over a separate flag and separate Constitution.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had earlier asserted that the Centre’s ongoing peace talks with the NSCN-IM in Delhi won’t affect the territorial boundaries of his state.

Various civil society organisations in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have strongly voiced their opposition to any decision that affected the territorial boundaries of these states.

United Committee Manipur (UCM), one of the influential civil society groups, has again urged the government and state leaders to make their stand clear on the issue.

The UCM said it always welcomed the peace process in the Northeast region but would not compromise on any agreement that affected the territorial integrity of Manipur in any way.

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