Aizawl: Making clear his government and party’s stand on ‘greater Mizoram’ or unification of contiguous areas of Manipur, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Friday said that a state government cannot directly interfere in the internal affairs of other states like Manipur.
Addressing a party meeting here, Zoramthanga, who is also the President of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), said that for the unification of areas where Mizo community and other tribals live, the initiative should come from “our kindred brothers” in Manipur as the issue of unification of Kuki-Chin-Mizo-Zo tribes should not be imposed.
He said that the Mizoram government cannot interfere in the internal matters of the neighboring state.
Following the unprecedented ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3, he had spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his Manipur counterpart N.Biren Singh and told them that his government had done what it could have done in the situation.
“We have tried our best to bring peace and tranquillity in Manipur as well as looking after displaced tribal people in Manipur taking shelter in the state and evacuation of stranded people and students from the neighboring state,” Zoramthanga said.
The tribals belonging to Chin, Kuki, Mizo, Zo, Zomi, who share the same culture, religion, tradition and ancestry, have been living for decades in both Mizoram and Manipur and they, along with the 10 tribal MLAs of Mizoram, demanded a separate state for the tribals.
The MNF chief said that unification of all the contiguous areas inhabited by Zo tribes has been one of the main objectives of the founding leaders of the party.
“Unification of ‘Zo’ tribe inhabited areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh – would be difficult at this time, unification of the ethnic Mizos areas living in Indian states of Manipur, Assam and Tripura had been proposed by the MNF all the time. The issue of unification of all the inhabited areas of our kindred brothers in neighbouring states was highly featured in the peace talks held with the Indian government and the erstwhile underground MNF.”
Zoramthanga said that the Centre then maintained that it could be done under article 3 of the Constitution of India.
The MNF, which emerged from Mizo National Famine Front (MNFF) – a platform that protested against the inaction of Centre during the 1959 famine in Mizo areas of Assam, was led by militant leader-turned politician Laldenga which staged an uprising in 1966 and for several years carried out underground activities.
Peace returned to Mizoram following inking of Mizo Accord in 1986.
In wake of the recent ethnic violence in Manipur, over 6,665 tribals from Manipur sheltered in several camps and relatives’ houses in Mizoram.
Meanwhile, the 10 tribal MLAs of Manipur, leaders of Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui (HI) and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Manipur unanimously on Thursday resolved not to engage in any dialogue or talk with the present Manipur government.
As the 10 tribals MLAs from hills including seven from BJP, had demanded separate state comprising Kuki-dominated districts in the wake of violence in Manipur, Biren Singh, rejecting the demand, said that Union Home Minister has assured that the territorial integrity of Manipur would be protected.
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