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Partha Sarathy asked: Why did the Central Government remain silent during Manipur-Nagaland crisis involving muivah's visit to his village in Manipur?

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  • Namrata Goswami replies: Muivah's visit to his village in Manipur was not going to be a smooth affair; that was known to all parties involved, be it the Central government or the concerned states for three obvious reasons. First, the territorial discourse of the NSCN (IM) on Naga unification, which includes areas of Manipur is not supported by the Meiteis in Manipur. Second, Muivah's visit would have polarised the Nagas and the Meiteis even further politically. Third, vested political interests within Manipur would have hoped to gain political mileage by resisting Muivah's visit.

    In this context, the Central government after clearing Muivah's visit remained silent since it became a issue between Manipur and Nagaland. It must be stated that both the Manipur Chief Minister, Ibobi Singh and the Nagaland Chief Minister, Nipheu Rio, when consulted by the Central government about Muivah's intended visit to his village did not raise objections in Delhi. Only after Ibobi Singh reached Manipur did he raise objections to Muivah's visit based on the political climate in the Imphal valley. The Centre should have however intervened when the economic blocade of Manipur by Naga groups were imposed for nearly two months. Blockade of national highways is unconstitutional and must not be tolerated at any cost.