24th Aug. The Centre is exploring the idea of making Naga-dominated Ukhrul the summer capital of Manipur — to send the message that the territorial integrity of the state is non-negotiable, and that the Meiteis must accommodate the people of the hill districts.
Government sources told The Indian Express that the gunning down of three NSCN (I-M) cadres by the Assam Rifles on August 12 in Ukhrul district was a signal that there would be no “compromise” if the insurgent group violates the ceasefire agreement.
The Centre is keen to impress on the state government that the hill districts must be integrated with the Meitei-dominated plains, and efforts should be made to hold local elections in the hill districts, which have not seen polls since 1984. In this context, the government wants to apply the ‘Jammu and Kashmir model’ — where Srinagar is the summer capital — by shifting the state administration to Ukhrul in summer.
As part of the new initiative, Union Home Secretary Gopal Pillai and Secretary, DoNER, Jarnail Singh attended development seminars in Bishnupur and Senapati districts last week. Pillai reviewed the security situation in the state this morning with clear-cut instructions against any extra-judicial killings.
The recent killing of a former militant by security forces in a “fake encounter” also figured in the Home Secretary’s dialogue with the state. The fact is that while Chief Minister Ibobi Singh wanted to order a magisterial inquiry, the Union Home Ministry got him to order a judicial probe.