Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh has sought clarification from the centre on media reports that the government is considering granting a 'supra state body' status to Nagas settled across the Northeast to enable them to preserve their culture, identity and customary laws under one body.
Official sources said that the chief minister wrote letters to the Prime Minister and the Union home minister after reports were published in a section of the local media that the centre was considering keeping all Nagas in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam under a 'supra state body' before Christmas.
According to the media reports, the centre was weighing the option after having talks with the NSCN-IM which has been holding peace talks with the centre for more than a decade.
Singh, according to the sources, clearly laid down the state government's position on the issue that the state government should be consulted before taking any final decision and asserted that the territorial integrity of Manipur would not be compromised at all costs.
The letter demanded assurance from the centre that territorial integrity of the state be kept intact while negotiating with the NSCN-IM which has been demanding a greater Nagaland by integretating Naga-settled areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with the present Nagaland state.
Senior Manipur Opposition leader of the Manipur People's Party O Joy said any attempt to break up Manipur would bring very bad consequences.
Eighteen people had been killed in Manipur during mass uprising when a BJP-led government at the centre, holding peace talks with the NSCN-IM, had stated that a ceasefire agreement with the NSCN-IM would be extended 'without territorial limit' in June, 2001. The statement was later retracted.