R.R. Jha, Director (NE.II), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has sent this response to the editorial titled ‘End this blockade now,' published in The Hindu of May 28, 2010:

“We regret to point out that certain statements in the editorial are based on hearsay. In particular, the statement that “the Central Government granted permission to NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah to visit his ancestral village in Manipur's Ukhrul district, without consulting the Ibobi Government” is incorrect.

“On May 15, 2010, the Home Minister issued a statement in response to a BJP statement setting out the facts and the sequence of events. It was carried by the media, including The Hindu.

“The statement, inter alia, said: ‘In order to set the record straight, I wish to point out that Government of India is holding talks with the NSCN (IM) led by Shri Muivah. Shri Muivah expressed a desire to visit his native village, Somdal, in Ukhrul district, Manipur. He submitted an itinerary through the Interlocutor Shri R.S. Pandey. Shri Muivah was told that his visit can be facilitated in consultation with the Government of Manipur. The Government of Manipur took the stand that such a visit would not be appropriate at this time. Efforts were made over several days to find a solution. The Chief Minister of Manipur was requested to go over to Delhi and he did so on May 6, 2010. The Finance Minister, the Defence Minister and the Home Minister held talks with the Chief Minister, Manipur. However after his return to Imphal, the Chief Minister reiterated the stand of his Government that the visit of Shri Muivah to Somdal could not be allowed at this stage.'

“We request you to note that the Central Government did not grant permission to Shri Muivah to visit his village without consulting the Government of Manipur. On the contrary, consultations were held for nearly 10 days from April 27, 2010 to May 6, 2010, but a mutually acceptable arrangement could not be arrived at.”

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