Nagas take part in rally to support peace talks

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Senapati (Manipur), Mar 3 (ANI): Nagas took part in a rally in Manipur to support the peace talks in New Delhi, thereby demanding an early solution to the pending Naga issue.

Holding placards with slogans like, 'We want peace', 'We demand solution', 'Give peace a chance', 'Naga integration is a must', over hundreds of Nagas marched down the streets in a rally organised by several Naga organisations.

Rebel Naga leaders, who met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to discuss the issue of sovereignty were disappointed when the Centre gave its nod to autonomy, but said no to the demand for a "Greater Nagaland".

Sources within the government said the Centre has formalized a peace formula to break the deadlock with the Naga rebels, who held a first round of talks with the Government today.

Naga leaders also called on Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to discuss the issue of autonomy issue.

According to sources, the Government has a proposal to counter the Naga demands, which would include a Naga body without territorial jurisdiction, but with a constitutional sanction.

The General Secretary of the banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Thuingaleng Muivah, who came here from Amsterdam with four other leaders, again raised the demand for a Greater Nagaland.

But the Centre made it clear that the demand for bringing the Naga-inhabited areas of the region into a single administrative setup was not possible in view of the strong opposition from Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Muivah was also unhappy with the interlocutor R. S. Pandey, who led the discussions at the peace dialogue.

The banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) - Isak Muivah faction chairman Isak Chisi Swu along with its General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah arrived here for talks with the Central Government in a bid to take the vexed Naga peace process forward.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai told newsmen in Dimapur on Saturday, "Muivah accepted the invitation from the Government of India communicated through the new Interlocutor R S Pandey to resume the peace dialogue."

The two leaders were also expected to visit Nagaland besides addressing the issue of clashes between the cadres of NSCN-IM and its rival NSCN (Khaplang), which led to unrest in the recent past.

Government sources said they would try and iron out differences with the NSCN-IM, which has proposed a federal relationship in the Indian Union. (ANI)

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