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‘Announcement of Manipur govt-in-exile a stunt’

News‘Announcement of Manipur govt-in-exile a stunt’

The timing of the announcement indicates the possible involvement of foreign powers.


NEW DELHI: Two separatist leaders from Manipur claiming to represent Manipur’s titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba on Tuesday announced the launch of the “Manipur government-in-exile” in London.

However, experts and intelligence sources believe that the two leaders are hardly known in Manipur and thus the whole episode of their announcing the “government-in-exile” is merely a publicity gimmick.

The two men, Yamben Biren and Narengbam Samarjit, who claimed to be the “Chief Minister of Manipur State Council” and “Minister of External Affairs and Defence of Manipur State Council” respectively, made the announcement of the setting up of what they called the “Manipur Government-in-exile” in the United Kingdom.

However, soon after the announcement, their lies had been exposed as Manipur’s titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba on Wednesday denied giving any such permission to them for making such a declaration.

Following the titular king’s denial, an FIR has also been lodged against Narengbam Samarjit for waging war against the nation. Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh also said that immediate investigation will be carried out against the two self-proclaimed leaders and the case will be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

When The Sunday Guardian contacted DGP of Manipur L.M. Khaute, he said that he cannot comment on the possible connection of the two accused with other insurgent separatist groups of the northeast as the case is under investigation by the agencies.

According to political leaders of Manipur, Narengbam Samarjit, an entrepreneur and president of the Central Working Committee of the North East India Development Party (NEIDP), is almost a non-entity in state politics.

However, the timing of the announcement indicates the possible involvement of foreign powers as the Central government has winded up its peace talks with Naga rebel groups, which would mean the end of the longest insurgency in India.

Rajeev Bhattacharya, a senior journalist who has been covering insurgency in the northeast for more than two decades, told The Sunday Guardian, “The history of the northeast suggests that there has been involvement of foreign powers in assisting and training rebel groups, but whether this incident in London can be linked to some foreign agencies remains to be seen.”

He also added, “There have been efforts to bring the northeast rebel groups under one umbrella for a long time, which United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) chief of staff Paresh Baruah himself revealed to me in Myanmar in 2011. Apart from these, there were also plans to form a government-in-exile, which hasn’t happened so far. Groups from Manipur have their own alliance known as Coordination Committee and they had refused to join the United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia, which came into being in 2015 with four outfits. However, both the conglomerates are close to each other and exist in close proximity in Myanmar.”


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