No force can stop me, says Muivah ‘We won’t claim anything which belongs to Meiteis’
May 05, Kohima: In a snub to Manipur government’s ban on his visit, a defiant NSCN-IM leader T Muivah today arrived at the state’s frontiers from where he is set to embark on a journey to his birthplace where prohibitory orders have been clamped and security heightened to avoid tribal unrest.
75-year-old Muivah reached Viswema village near the Nagaland-Manipur border on his way to his home village of Somdal in Ukhrul district in the neighbouring state.
Escorted by members of Naga civil society, Muivah left the NSCN-IM headquarters Camp Hebron near Dimapur at noon after a brief prayer and arrived here to a warm welcome at the check gate on NH-39. He was then escorted to Viswema village, 25 km south of this capital town.
NSCN (I-M) leader Thuingaleng Muivah said his visit to Manipur, which has been banned by the state government fearing unrest, is not aimed at disturbing anyone and his outfit would not stake claim to anything that belongs to non-tribal Manipuris.
“The opposition to my visit by the Meiteis came as a surprise…the visit is for peace, to meet family and friends and not to disturb anyone…We will not claim anything which belongs to the Meiteis, let them have theirs, we will only have what is rightfully ours,” the 75-year-old Naga leader told reporters at NSCN(I-M) headquarters in Dimapur late last night.
NSCN-IM, one of the oldest and powerful rebel groups in northeast, is demanding greater Nagaland which it proposed to be formed by merging Naga populated areas of adjoining states with Nagaland, which has been rejected by Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh governments.
The rebel outfit, which is now holding fresh talks with the central government since March, had entered into a ceasefire agreement in August 1997.
The Naga leader will stay at his native village Somdal till May 7. He will visit Ukhrul town on May 8 and return to Somdal to celebrate Mother’s Day. On May 10, he is scheduled to visit the nearby Senapati district before returning to Dimapur.
Muivah will be escorted by members of various Naga civil society organizations en route to his native village Somdal in Ukhrul district where large contingents of police personnel have been deployed and prohibitory orders clamped at Mao gate, the entry point to Manipur from Nagaland.
The rebel leader, who is visiting Somdal after 47 years, hailed the Naga civil societies for their support.
“I must go there and no force can stop me. My parents had died waiting to meet their son,” said an emotional Muivah, who recently arrived in Nagaland after holding second round of peace talks with the Centre.