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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Centre's decision unacceptable: NSCN(I-M)

NEW DELHI, JULY 30. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) today said the Centre's decision to restrict the ceasefire to Nagaland was ``not acceptable'' and claimed that nothing was finalised on the review of ceasefire extension at the recent talks the Centre's interlocutor, Mr. K. Padmanabhaiah, had with its leaders in Amsterdam.

During the two-day talks last week, ``nothing was finalised for reviewing the June 14 Bangkok agreement'', a statement by the NSCN(I-M) leaders, Mr. Issac Chishi Swu, and Mr. Thuingaleng Muivah, said.

``Therefore any announcement or declaration or statement given by the Home Ministry or in any mass media are unfounded. And so, they are in no sense acceptable to the Nagas,'' the statement added.

`Centre must clarify'

In Kohima, the Nagaland Chief Minister, Mr. S.C. Jamir, today appealed to the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) to clear the doubts in the minds of the Nagas on the modification in the cease-fire terms.

``While the Centre has claimed that the decision to delete the words `without territorial limit' from the agreement was taken after the consent of the NSCN(I-M), the latter had contested this view,'' he said.

He appealed to the Centre to accept the insurgency in the northeast as a ``national problem''. Solving it would help the Centre handle other problems in the region with ease, he added.

Bandh in Manipur

Meanwhile, a three-day bandh in four hill districts of Manipur has been called from midnight tonight by the United Naga Council and the Naga Youth Front in protest against the decision to limit the ceasefire to Nagaland only, official sources said.

The NYF and the Zeliangrong Students Union were also continuing the economic blockade at the two National Highways 39 (Imphal- Dimapur) and 53 (Imphal-Silchar) for the third day today.

The Army, para-military and police have been put on maximum alert in view of the bandh, police said. Security forces have been deployed at all vulnerable points and patrolling has been intensified.

Ceasefire hailed

The Arunachal Pradesh Government today welcomed the confining of the ceasefire to Nagaland. ``The people of the State have welcomed the limitation of the ceasefire area to Nagaland only,'' the State Information and Public Relations Minister, Mr. Takam Sanjay, said.

- PTI, UNI

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