Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh today said that a case of waging war against the State has been registered against two Manipuri separatist leaders for setting up Manipur’s ‘government in exile’ in the UK.
Manipur Chief Minister, N Biren Singh: After finding the details the case will be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) because they are operating from other countries. https://t.co/aHAzBfwzo6
— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2019
He said that the government takes it very seriously and the case has been handed over to special crime branch for immediate investigation.
Manipur’s titular king, Leishemba Sanajoaba, too, condemned the same and said that he is shocked that the two separatists dragged his name into this.
On Tuesday, two dissident leaders from Manipur claiming to be the representatives of King Leishemba Sanajaoba announced the launch of the “Manipur Government in exile” in London. Addressing a press conference, Yamben Biren, who claimed to be the ‘Chief Minister of Manipur State Council’ and Narengbam Samarjit, claiming to be the ‘Minister of External Affairs and Defence of Manipur State Council’ said they were speaking on behalf of the ‘Maharaja of Manipur’ to formally launch the government in exile — “The Manipur State Council”.
The two separatists, Biren and Samarjit produced some documents to suggest that they have been granted political asylum in the UK in August this year. They claimed that the ‘de jure government’ is shifted from Manipur to London.
“The state of Manipur is a de jure Government formed in Manipur under the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947. It received independence from the British Raj on August 14, 1947. They claimed the sovereign State of Manipur was excluded from India by the Order in Council by his Majesty on 27 December 1946 and the Indian Government annexed the Manipur State of India by the violation of the Act 1949,” the separatists claimed.
The two leaders said that they would make an appeal to Queen Elizabeth II and after getting an order from the Privy Council they would move the United Nations for recognition.
Manipur, a land of diverse cultures and ethnicities is a multicultural society comprising of Naga, Kuki and Meitei tribes. However, the ‘divide and rule policy’ of the British in relation to administering the hills and plains of Manipur and the introduction of Christianity has widened the cultural gap among these communities.
Over a period of time, separate aspirations and insecurity regarding overlapping claims over natural resources, added with help from neighbouring countries has led some of the groups and insurgents to move towards separatist movements. Till today, some of the Meitei insurgent groups continue to wage an insurgency in the name of self-determination and restoration of lost sovereignty.
The Naga insurgent group – NSCN(IM)’s demand for the formation of Nagalim, including the four districts of Manipur is also seen as a threat to Manipur’s territorial integrity. Meanwhile, the Kukis demand a separate statehood for the Kukis. The Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) was formed on November 2, 2010, to seek a ‘Kuki state’, which is to be carved out of their ancestral land in Manipur.