NSCN-IM general secretary T. Muivah on Monday said his patience is running thin and he will not wait indefinitely to visit his ancestral village in Manipur’s Ukrul district.
“Our patience is running thin...We decided to defer (the visit) at the request of the PMO, but we will not wait indefinitely. Anyway, I will go to my birthplace, no one can stop me,” Mr. Muivah told reporters in Viswema village, where he has been camping since May 5.
He said that at the request of the PMO and others, he had decided to defer his visit till the situation stabilised on the other side of the border, but it would be a mistake on the Centre’s part to think that he and the NSCN—IM would wait indefinitely.
“The government of India should not construe the Naga people’s patience (of waiting) as a weakness. If they feel so, it will be great blunder on the part of New Delhi,” he said.
The Manipur government has opposed Mr. Muivah’s visit saying it would disturb communal amity since the NSCN—IM has demanded a ‘greater Nagaland’ comprising Naga—inhabited areas in neighbouring states. The idea has been turned down by the Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh governments.
Manipur had clamped prohibitory orders and deployed the police in strength at the Mao check gate at the inter—state border to prevent Mr. Muivah from entering the state.
“The government of India should immediately solve the present situation in Manipur and make open the best way (visit by road) to my village town instead of other options like providing a helicopter for my visit,” he said.
He warned that if the present crisis in Manipur was not solved “then the Centre can see what the Naga people and NSCN can do. Still we have hope and we do not believe in force?”
Asked whether he was ready to fly by a helicopter to Ukhrul, Mr. Muivah indicated that the best way was by road.
Apparently referring to the Centre having earlier given the nod to his visit, Mr. Muivah termed it as “a total betrayal on the part of government on its own commitment to the Naga people“.
He said the Nagas are still hopeful that the Centre would resolve the crisis and pave the way for his visit “which is solely for peace and not for any other agenda“.
He claimed that the “mishandling of the whole issue” by the government had only “driven away Nagas from the hard— earned trust” build between the two sides over the years on the Naga political problem.