IMPHAL: “Meiteis can never accept the demand for division of Manipur.”
This was stated by Nishikant Sapam, an independent Meitei MLA from Manipur.
Sapam made this statement while speaking to senior journalist Karan Thapar in an interview for The Wire.
Nishikant Sapam is an independent MLA, who supports the Biren Singh-led BJP government in Manipur.
“We are all owners of this land, including the Manipur Kukis,” the MLA said in the interview.
Notably, as many as ten (10) Manipur MLAs, belonging to the Kuki community in the state, recently sought “separation from the state of Manipur”.
Of the 10 Kuki MLAs from Manipur, seven are from the ruling BJP and two are also ministers in the state government.
Also read: Manipur | Tribal MLAs seek ‘separate state’, say ‘to live amidst Meitei is as good as death’
“Our people can no longer exist under Manipur,” the 10 tribal MLAs had stated on Friday (May 12) in a statement to the media.
“As the state of Manipur has miserably failed to protect us, we seek of the union of India a SEPARATE ADMINISTRATION under the constitution of India and live peacefully as neighbours with state of Manipur,” the tribal MLAs stated.
Sapam said that the central government has assured the state government that “no portion of Manipur will be taken away” in response to the “separate state” demand.
The Wire reported that during the course of the interview “the two things that come through very strongly are the sense of injustice the Meiteis feel because, although they are 53% of the population, they cannot buy land outside the Valley area which is just 10% of the state”.
The remaining 90% is restricted for the tribals (Kukis and Nagas) who can also, in addition, buy land in the Valley. The sense of injustice that the Meiteis feel on this count comes through very strongly in this interview.
Also read: No division of Manipur, says CM Biren Singh amid ‘separate state’ demand by tribal leaders
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, along with four cabinet ministers and state BJP chief A Sharda Devi met Amit Shah on Sunday (May 14).
The meeting continued for almost two hours and focused on restoration of peace in the violence-hit Northeast state of Manipur.
The central government is against the idea of dividing Manipur and carving out a ‘separate state’.
This was informed by Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Monday (May 15).
This clarification from the Manipur chief minister came amid demands by tribal leaders of the state, including MLAs, for creation of a ‘separate state’.