|Imphal, May 26,2008: The Poumai Naga tribe of Manipur has asked the NSCN (I-M) ceasefire monitoring cell convenor, Phunthing Shimrang, to furnish evidence to prove that the members of the newly floated militant group, United Naga Peoples Council (UNPC), belongs to the tribe.Shimrang had recently said the UNPC had been formed by a “major” who had earlier defected from the NSCN (I-M). The members of this new outfit are from the Poumai Naga tribe, who, he had added, had been misled by some vested interests to undermine the Naga political issue by confusing the innocent Nagas.The UNPC, that was formed on April 30, claimed to have defected from the NSCN (I-M) to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and foster unity among the hill and valley people of the state. The outfit also said it would fight for Manipur’s sovereignty.
Reacting to Shimrang’s statement carried in the May 22 edition of The Telegraph, R.S. Danii, the publicity and information secretary of the Poumai Masou Me (Poumai Union) today said the charges were “baseless” and unfounded.
“The Poumai Masou Me strongly refutes the allegations and asks Shimrang to clarify in daily papers on what ground and evidence did he say the members of the new outfit (UNPC) are from the Poumai tribe when the Poumai community does not know or have heard of the existence of such outfit in the district,” a statement issued by the tribe said.
The organisation also asked Shimrang to furnish the list of real names, fathers’ names and villages if the members are really from the Poumai tribe and give all possible reasons behind the alleged statement at the earliest.