It would be prudent for the new state government to re-instil confidence among all parties through a total focus on equitable development in both the Hills and the Valley areas and take all stakeholders on board before undertaking any controversial move.
Naga leaders have alleged that Naga villages have been merged with non-Naga areas to form the new districts and that the Manipur Government did not consult all stake holders including the Hill Area Committees before taking the decision.
While the Manipur government’s decision to create seven new districts has come in the wake of popular demands for improved administrative efficiency, there has been fierce opposition from Naga bodies which view it as an attempt to divide the Naga people
While the creation of seven new smaller districts has led to agitations by the United Naga Council, efficiencies in administrative tasks should be obtainable with district headquarters closer to the respective inhabitants.
The Naga peace accord is a historic step. It needs to be followed up by correct policy interventions that serve to undercut the relevance of the Kuki and Meitei insurgencies and thus usher in peace in Manipur.
Without going into the merits of the Inner Line Permit issue, the Centre should harness its resources and political and administrative skills adroitly to ensure that the State Government maintains the status quo in the matter till the next Assembly elections.
The political imbroglio in Manipur has to be analysed through the prism of likely political gains and losses for the State`s major players, in juxtaposition to the scenario prevailing in adjoining States as well as inclinations of the Central Government.
The Centre must reiterate its commitment to uphold the Constitutional provisions enshrined in Article 371, expand the scope of the Sixth Schedule, and empower the autonomous council institutions in the North-East.