UNC calls bandh on Jan 23
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 20
THE United Naga Council (UNC) has called for 12-hour total bandh (shut down) from 6 am to 6 pm on January 23 in protest against what it called “provocative statement” of the Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with regard to its talks with the Government of India (GoI) and Government of Manipur (GoM). The joint secretary’s statement was publicised in an interview with a Delhi news network and which had been featured in some of today’s newspapers. A press communiqué from the publicity wing of the UNC said the UNC was compelled to set the record straight,.
The UNC has clearly stated that the Republic Day is not being boycotted. A peaceful abstention from participating in the Republic Day celebrations had been called by the UNC besides other civil actions to demonstrate “the displeasure of the Nagas in Manipur over the willful insult to the Naga people and to the democratic process of dialogue which it has upheld with respect and to press for immediate intervention of the GoI with “alternative arrangement” the communiqué said.
The UNC also said in the last talks which took place at Delhi on August 30, 2013 it was agreed that the next round of tripartite talks of the Government of India (GoI), Government of Manipur (GoM) and UNC would be held within the “outer limit” of two months. This had not happened notwithstanding reminders conveyed dated October 29, 2013 to the GoI and press statements on the matter issued on subsequent dates of November 18, 2013, June 6, 2013 and December 10, 2013 supplemented by two limited bandhs of 48 hours each.
The UNC further alleged that the GoM had misled and wrongly influenced the GoI to suppress democratic rights and the Naga people’s movement for securing their political aspirations. It was the GoI which had initiated the dialogue process.
However, it did not respond nor communicate, and so left the process in a limbo, ignoring the fact that “the democratic process of dialogue should be treated with respect and upheld with care.”
Instead, there is sinister design to sabotage the peaceful and democratic dialogue process by criminalising the people’s movement for securing their political aspiration, the UNC alleged.
Accordingly, “to register our protest against the provocative statement of the Jt. Secretary, MHA,” the civil action of a peaceful rally scheduled to be held in all Naga district HQs on the January 23 had been cancelled and would be replaced by a total 12-hour shut down on the same day, the communiqué said.
“At this critical moment, we appeal to our people to stand up unitedly in one accord and to effectively observe the total bandh in their respective jurisdictions. Any individual who wilfully defies the bandh would be doing so at their own risk,” the communiqué added.