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Ethnicity, Identify & Conflict *
Pradip Phanjoubam#

Increased autonomy for ethnically defined areas and groups has frequently been proposed as a solution to problems of insurgency and, as a policy, it has been implemented in several cases. With some benefit of hindsight, it must be pointed out at the outset that such solutions have not effectively measured up to expectations. A closer scrutiny of the failure would shed light on a number of dark and blind spots in the efforts to tackle this nagging problem.

The problem is also in many ways peculiar to the multi-ethnic northeastern region of India. As numerous ethnic communities emerge out of their disjointed time frames into a more modern context, they encounter many unforeseen complexities. Such a transition is more often than not painful, with hitherto unforeseen conflict situations emerging on every conceivable canvas. Furthermore, these conflicts do not necessarily render themselves purely in terms of the visible and violent manifestation that the world today is so very concerned about. The more painful, although less perceptible to the world, are also very much internal. Anxiety, angst and frustration are also a matter of the heart and soul. As a matter of fact, primacy ought to be given to addressing these inner conflicts while looking for solutions to the ethnic problem. This assumes added significance since the external violence that has currently come to be synonymous with the problem is only a manifestation of the internal conflicts and contradictions that are part of this transition. An effort must, consequently, be made to understand these inner contradictions and turmoil if a more durable solution is to be evolved to the problem of insurgency.

Unfortunately, such an approach has not been initiated in most of the theatres of conflicts. The official line has always tended to lay emphasis on the external dimensions of the problem rather than addressing inner manifestations of the conflict. Consequently, conflict situations have, more often than not, been considered solely in the realm of law and order. Although the law and order aspect is a truism, it does not indicate a point of culmination or the beginnings of a solution. The conflicts of India’s Northeast are also sociological, economic, historical and political problems. Since the diagnosis of the problem has often been incomplete, prescriptions have also been equally inadequate. The result is a cycle of violence that continues creating scenarios of intractable conflict.

Manipur: Collapse of Reason

The critical gap in enunciating a broader understanding of conflict situations is glaringly displayed in the simmering turmoil in Manipur. The blunder here, too, has been one of a failure at the official level to understand the problem. One cannot also help noticing a certain official arrogance in the whole episode following the aborted geographical extension – to Naga populated areas of Manipur – of the Centre’s cease-fire agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM]. Briefly, the Government of India (GoI) entered into an agreement with the leaders of the NSCN-IM on June 14, 2001, at Bangkok, extending the three-year-old cease-fire it holds with the underground organisation beyond the State of Nagaland.1 This led to protests in Manipur, particularly amongst the Meitei populace, for they see in this a recognition of the long-standing demand for a Nagalim (Greater Nagaland),2 of which the NSCN (IM) has arguably been providing the strongest advocacy. The objection to the idea of a Nagalim by States neighbouring Nagaland, (again particularly by Manipur) will be analysed at length in the later part of this paper. In a nutshell, however, it is based on the common fear shared by these States of the prospect of having to part with their territories. Here again, there is a clash of interest as well as of understanding between the traditional concept of territory and the modern land revenue system. Indeed, this factor has played a significant role in the buildup to the recent conflagration.

The protests against the territorial extension of the Naga ceasefire exploded across Imphal, the capital of Manipur, on June 18, when demonstrators turned violent and burnt down, among other buildings, the State Legislative Assembly, the Chief Ministers office, many political parties’ offices, the official residences of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), and other state institutions.3 13 persons were killed when security forces resorted to intermittent firing to control the rioting.4 In the days that followed, the toll increased to 18, when protestors continued to break curfew orders through the days and nights, repeatedly confronting the security forces. The protest and its aftermath underscore the point regarding official arrogance, and the gap it created between the official vision and ground realities.

Official Blunder

The first manifestation of the Union government’s bungling was when it went ahead and signed the Bangkok agreement, without initiating a consultative process with the concerned States. Nobody objects to peace processes or to a negotiated settlement between any particular militant group and the government. Suspicions are, however, aroused when State’s believe that they will unilaterally be asked to make unacceptable sacrifices. As if in afterthought, and only as a consequence of the violent agitation in Manipur, did the Central leadership elucidate that the process of negotiations with the NSCN (IM) was in the interest of peace and would not involve any territorial re-alignment. The Centre subsequently retracted its earlier commitment to the NSCN (IM) and announced the restitution of status quo ante. In doing this, while it succeeded in assuaging the agitating States, the Centre simultaneously earned the displeasure of a greater section of the Naga populace and complicated a wide range of local issues even further.5

The embarrassment of having to make conflicting commitments and subsequently retracting them could easily have been avoided if the Union government had done its spadework vis-à-vis the impact of its proposed decisions on all parties concerned. Such spadework could easily have prevented the violent incidents of June 18 in Imphal. It is now apparent that a certain section of the leadership in New Delhi perceives that ‘acting tough’ is the way to resolve the ethnic unrest. The narrow structure of conflict resolution processes fails to discern the dangers of such an approach, and its potential to harden simmering resentment. It reflects, furthermore, a complete insensitivity towards critically understanding the temperament of a people, and this was more than evident from the manner in which the situation was handled.

It can be said with a degree of certainty that the issue at stake is not so much the ceasefire, but territory. It ought to have dawned on the Central leadership that territorial aspects touch upon the sensitivities of the people of the region. In this context it needs to be underscored that the matter is not as simple as Article 3 of the Indian Constitution6 envisages it to be. Altering territorial boundaries of States within the Indian Union may be a simple legislative process that requires nothing more than its ratification by a simple majority in Parliament. But the purely legal perspective ignores the crucial linkages to what is perceived in the heart and soul of these societies in transition, and this cannot be comprehended within the confines of what the statute book enunciates. The distance between the two perceptions is also an index of the gulf between the ‘mainstream’ and the people of the Northeast. The sooner the Central leadership gets to understand this, the closer one would be to an acceptable settlement.

The moot point is that sensitivity to territorial aspects of existing disputes in the region is shared as much by the Meiteis as by the Nagas and the Kukis, and, indeed, by many other traditional communities of the region. The difficulties arise increasingly because of multiple overlaps of territories considered as ‘homelands’ by more than one of these communities, and the consequent dilemmas of resolution. More significantly, what is missed is that flexible traditional notions of ownership and habitation have suddenly and arbitrarily been replaced by modern notions of property and territorial rights. Subir Bhaumik portrays the conflict as one that necessarily accompanies the transformation of ‘soft cultural frontiers’ that once defined traditional territory into hard political boundaries of the modern polity.7 Without the benefit of an organic political evolution, traditional societies suddenly find themselves circumscribed by these ‘hard political boundaries’. Furthermore, the question that arises is, can there be any alternative to this line of political evolution? If not, then should the traditional communities not accept the hard realities that they have no choice but to face?

In today’s Northeast, much of the turmoil can be attributed to a necessary clash between ‘cultural frontiers’ and ‘political boundaries’. As ethnic communities awaken and attempt to define their identities (nationalities) as well as their living spaces (nations) in modern terms, the age-old equilibrium tends to get disturbed. In such a scenario, the efforts of the peacemakers, institutional as well as those that are thrown up from within the awakening communities, must be to ensure that these equilibria are not upset, but are, in fact, accommodated within the new ethnic reality. They must succeed in registering the message that the only other option to peaceful coexistence of all the communities is violent conflict, which, in effect, is no option at all. That the only forward looking choice at such critical junctures is a strengthening of traditional relationships within these shared parameters, so as to create space around each without treading on each other’s toes.

Unfortunately, instead of directing the conflict resolution process towards a discovery of shared values and concepts, many, including the Central leadership, have been attempting to segregate the problems into compartments and to prescribe separate remedies. Voices that have constantly been prescribing that the Naga problem cannot be solved in isolation, for it is indeed, a part of the larger milieu, have for too long been ignored, and the cost has been borne by the people as was demonstrated dramatically through the events following the Centre’s flip-flop over the extension of the Naga cease-fire. Suggestions from many varied quarters that a more durable solution can emerge if the approach is holistic have never been given the credence they deserve. The recent imbroglio in Manipur was a consequence of such highhandedness. Moreover, the crisis also negated the Central government’s apparent belief that negotiations with the NSCN (IM) (‘the mother of all insurgencies’, as it is so naively described), alone can bring about a solution to the contentious issue of insurgency in the northeastern region.

The Naga problem demands a solution, the scope of which ought to be widened. Such widening entails a termination of the Naga fixation and the construction of a canvas that includes the entire panorama of those facing not only similar problems, but problems that are also inextricably linked. This would be a more effective approach to the problem, and only such an approach can ensure a more permanent solution to the hitherto intractable conflicts. It is certain that it is not the intent of any of the parties to the conflict to set into motion new problems in an effort to solve those that already exist. Regrettably, such a chain was precisely what was initiated in Manipur, when the Centre chose to impose an ambiguous geographical extension of its cease-fire with the NSCN (IM).

Whose Land?

As pointed out earlier, the current conflict situation is not so much over peace negotiations or the cease-fire with the NSCN (IM). It is primarily over territory. The fact that the "homeland" concepts of many ethnic communities overlap is, moreover, not contested. They also differ substantially even within the traditional context. As for instance, a farmer’s concept of territory ownership is never the same as that of the hunter-gatherer’s, and would be radically different to that of the nomadic herder’s. A simple solution in the case of the notion of homeland of different communities overlapping is to agree to share that homeland. This will entail, among other things, evolving a consensual common law to guarantee each a rightful place in the territory in question, with the realisation that dangerous conflicts will otherwise become unavoidable.

In the Manipur case, the problems have had a fair degree of discussion, and it has indeed become a cliche to prescribe dialogue at the people’s level to precede official level negotiations. Although the utility of such a dialogue between the communities concerned is not contested, such dialogue remains meaningless if those involved in it are not interested in building a dialectic. Social discourse must, of course, be encouraged, but the parties in this discourse must be made to realize that a negotiated settlement will necessarily have to involve a good degree of bargaining. A rigid adherence to one’s point of view cannot produce results, and the focus must also be directed towards current realities. Disregarding such an approach leads to intractable conflict situations and, in the case of a multi-ethnic structure like Manipur, ethnic mayhem becomes unavoidable if any dichotomy between the ground realities and the position emerging through official arbitration are evident. This paper contends that current realities must be given primacy even over claims that possess history, proto-history and prehistory as alibis – all of these being commonplace in the current conflicts in the region. While these various historical considerations may constitute elements and facilitators of the negotiating ensemble, no attempt should be made to supersede the current structures of reality. The state of flux of concepts and percepts being what it is, any invocation of historical realities to explain the current scenario will not only be anachronistic, but could also lead to revivalist and revisionist tendencies. It is also true that these elements have limited problem-solving value and are prone to abstraction. Worse, they are, as is widely acknowledged, more in the nature of fixations than philosophies.

Since the need for a critical social discourse directed towards avoiding conflict situations is more imperative in the current context, an analysis of some examples of the effects of a juxtaposition of crude history with present realities – without focusing on the finer distinctions between and within these – helps vividly illustrate certain points. The conflict in the Middle East is an appropriate instance in this context. The Jews and the Palestinians fight over the same strip of homeland, which one claims on the evidence of a history of the Biblical era, and the other on the plea that they have been living in it for thousands of years. Can either of these realities prevail or be accepted over the other? Closer home, the Babri Masjid–Ram Janmabhoomi conflict is also fired by a similar logic, although it would be hazardous to construct too close a comparison. If history can be considered as a justification for claims to ownership rights, how far should one ‘proceed’ in history to discover such alibis?

There can be no solution to such problems unless all disputing parties acknowledge the primacy of the present. Accommodations must be made to fit into the present reality, and not to twist and cram this reality into visions of the past. Critically, there must also be a broader constituency, one that accepts the sprit of the modern. The other’s viewpoint must not only be ascertained but also appreciated in an appropriate context. It must also be acknowledged that no ethnic group or community can vanish into thin air. Some have been here longer than certain others, but, in the current context, none has a choice but to evolve a common destiny and share the homeland. All whose sweat, blood and tears have mixed with this soil will have an attachment with the land. However, the land must also continue to belong to all those who are still willing to shed sweat, blood and tears for it.

When the news of the Bangkok agreement of June 14, 2001,8 reached Manipur, the trouble of the dimension of the June 18 tragedy was widely anticipated. The objections to the extension of the ceasefire boundary have been there precisely because such a move is taken to be a recognition of the contentious demand for a greater Nagaland, pushed most strongly by the NSCN (IM). As for the Greater Nagaland issues, one is not certain what percentage of the Nagas outside of Nagaland want it. We know a great many want it, but we have also heard a great many whisper they do not. Settling the issue will need a lot of people to people dialogue. Realignment of aeons old relationships cannot come easily. Blunt official arbitration has been and can be recipes for disasters. The mistakes of the Radcliffs, Durands and the MacMohans should be fresh in mind, so that they are not repeated.

With a visible lack of response from authorities at the Centre as well as the State, the overwhelming mood was that disaster was inevitable or as an analyst explained:

Nothing can be more unfortunate than the dark clouds that have descended over Manipur in the wake of the signing of the Bangkok agreement that allowed the Government of India-NSCN (IM) ceasefire to extend to territories of states outside of Nagaland. It is time for some straight talking. Enough of all the innuendoes, half-truths and white lies in the name of subtlety. There can be no reason for anybody to object to a ceasefire if it did not carry any hidden meaning. There is no reason for anybody to object to the present ceasefire, if it was free of the political implications. Admit it or not, implicit in the current truce is the recognition of the demand for a Greater Nagaland, an entity that has supposedly 12 lakh square kilometers (more than 30 times the size of the present day Nagaland), which includes besides Nagaland, almost the entire land area of Manipur, a better part of the southern bank of the Brahamaputra river in Assam, a large chunk of Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. This idea of a Naga inhabited area does not recognize state or international boundaries, it is obvious, but curiously those who have had a good look at the map of it, would have noticed it does recognize one international boundary as marked by the MacMohan Line. Perhaps the Nagas were averse to stepping on Chinese soil from time immemorial, even before the imaginary line came into its controversial existence in 1913. The point is, the dark red shadow on the map of the region marking Greater Nagaland, may be a symbol for the national aspiration of the NSCN but it cannot also be less than menacing to other beholders in the region. If the Nagas have a right to call this new map a dream, others have a right to think of it as a bad dread too. A point, we feel the central government has missed totally. Of course in its attempt to contain flared sentiments, the central government now says that the extension of the ceasefire and the territorial question are not interlinked. But the same event is being celebrated in Nagaland and denounced in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, precisely for the belief that it is a step towards the realization of a Greater Nagaland. In Manipur the protests have been very vocal and open, in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, rather muffled. But then, as a journalist from Assam joked, the people of Assam have the habit of blaming the journalists for not writing strongly enough about such issues. In Manipur too, the people are inhibited about writing, but they take to the streets. It is just a matter of temperamental difference. The outrage is the same. This is the newly created conflict situation before us. We would have preferred the matter be allowed to be sorted out at the people’s level first before the official agreement was signed. Seeking the people’s consent after the official decision has been taken is going to be an uphill task, but we do hope the centre makes an earnest effort to do it. The urgency of the matter demands even a personal visit and appearance before the people by the Prime Minister or the Home minister. Only such a gesture can win back lost faith. Any outbreak of violence now, will be a one way ticket to Hell for all caught in the conflict situation.9

The moot point here is that the outburst of violence in Manipur following the June 14 Bangkok Agreement was not a complexity, difficult to anticipate or comprehend, given the long-enduring conflict situation in the region. Primarily, it was insensitivity towards the underlying issues that undermined the authorities’ ability or willingness to anticipate it.

Is Autonomy a solution?

An attempt at providing plausible answers to this question ought to look at the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, which had initially been conceived as a means to guarantee a certain degree of autonomy, political as well as financial, to backward tribal areas within the northeastern region. The most prominent feature of the Sixth Schedule is that it creates Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), which are independent administrative units within the larger administrative structure of the State. In effect, it refers to a State within a State, with an independent Plan head. The tribal area may not necessarily be within a non-tribal area, but as is increasingly the case after the division of Assam in the 1960s and 1970s, minuscule tribal areas have emerged within larger areas where tribals of different linguistic and ethnic stock constitute majorities. When Assam comprised almost the entire northeast region, with the exception of Manipur and Tripura (which were princely States) the division between the tribal fringes and the non-tribal Assamese Hindu core of the State, was starker. The applicability of the Sixth Schedule, under such circumstances, was much clearer, and in fact it was with this division in mind that the Schedule appeared to have been introduced. (Again because the schedule initially was meant for undivided Assam, States outside Assam, particularly Manipur, remained untouched by the coverage of Schedule, and this is the situation till date. However, there is now a strong demand for its application to this troubled State as well). Consequent to the bifurcation of smaller tribal majority States from Assam, this boundary between non-tribal majorities and tribal minorities has been blurred. So also, arguably, has been the logic of the Sixth Schedule.

In any case, the validity of the Sixth Schedule is a matter of intense debate, even within the relatively nascent tribal States. Furthermore, in the current and increasingly mixed population patterns, it has resulted in the disenfranchisement of people – either non-tribal or tribal groups – that do not belong to particular communities for whom the ADCs have been created.

The cases of Meghalaya and Mizoram are interesting in this context. In Meghalaya, almost the entire State, with the exception of a small pocket of the non-reserved Shillong district, comes under the purview of three ADCs of the Khasis, Jantias and Garos. This was understandable when Meghalaya was a part of Assam, but it has currently acquired a profile, which defeats the purpose for which the schedule was initially introduced. In Mizoram, a 100 per cent tribal State, there are currently four ADCs for small non-Mizo tribes within the state – the Chakma, Lakhher, Pawi and the Hmar ADCs. The reluctance of the State government to extend its patronage to these is well known to observers of the region. In the tribal minority States of Assam and now Tripura, the ADCs have been relatively successful, but with their own specific problems.

It is however in Manipur – till date not under the purview of the Sixth Schedule – that the problem is most complicated. There is a strong demand for its introduction from the tribal populace, a demand that evokes a strong resistance from the non-tribal Meiteis. A brief sketch of the demographic pattern will help in understanding this friction. The State has a non-tribal, Vaishnavite Meitei majority population, with the non-tribal to tribal ratio being approximately 65 per cent to 35 per cent. A peculiar, lop-sided land revenue policy has, however, confined the majority non-tribal population to merely one-tenth the area of the State, namely the Imphal valley. The nine-tenth hill areas, although extremely sparsely populated, are reserved for the tribals alone, with the non-tribals prohibited from acquiring any assets there. Under the circumstance, if the tribal areas were to come under the Sixth Schedule and be converted into ADCs, it would amount to the whole State coming under the purview of the Sixth Schedule, with the exception of a small non-tribal pocket, the opposite of what was initially envisaged by the Schedule. While the population in the unreserved Imphal valley is mixed, the Manipur hills are inhabited by tribal groups aligned either to the Nagas or the Kukis, and are divided into five districts at the moment, although the State government has committed itself to creating another district. The Naga groups claim majority in four of the existing hill districts and the Kuki groups in one. The proposed sixth district, (which will be carved out primarily from three hill districts) if created, will be Kuki majority. Not surprisingly, the Naga groups vehemently oppose this move.

This brief background will help understand why the Sixth Schedule has always been a contentious issue in Manipur, and has a demonstrated potential to spark-off bitter conflicts. At one level, the Schedule issue has brought out the clash of interests between the non-tribal valley dwellers and the tribal hill dwellers. At another level however, the issue has highlighted the bitter rivalries between the Naga and Kuki groups of tribals in the hills. The issue re-emerges periodically to heighten the multi-dimensional complexities of the region.

To put the record straight, all State governments have committed themselves to implementing the Sixth Schedule, but have eventually backed out due to various reasons. The reasons were not so much because of popular resistance, but the result of an inherent inability to decide on the modalities of implementation, i.e., deciding on the number of ADCs to be created under this Schedule. Thus, the conflict has primarily been between those who want the Sixth Schedule to be implemented and those who oppose its implementation. On the last occasion the issue emerged, the plausible certainty of its implementation was neutralized due to objections by Kuki leaders over the number of ADCs to be created. The Kuki lobby wanted six – the existing five hill districts of Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel, Churachandpur and the putative sixth hill district, known as the Sadar Hills. The Naga proposal referred to a single ADC consisting of all the hill districts; or alternatively, two ADCs, one consisting of the four Naga- dominated hill districts and the other constituted by the Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district; or five ADCs corresponding to the existing five hill districts, excluding the putative Sadar Hills. The objection of the Kukis as well as the non-tribal Meiteis in the Valley was due to the visible outline in the Naga proposal of the concept of Nagalim (Greater Nagaland), which also sparked off the violence and mayhem subsequent to the Bangkok agreement of June 14, 2001.

Thus, even the demand for implementation of the Sixth Schedule has been politicised in Manipur. Consequently, the underlying spirit of decentralization of power as also administration has been completely dissolved. There is another reservation vis-à-vis the Schedule as it stands today. It is no longer just a neutral instrument for administrative efficiency in the northeastern region. It creates an ethnic and a relative political boundary through the ADCs, and has a strong tendency to promote ethnic polarization and sub-nationalism.


Peace is, indeed, increasingly a difficult proposition to realise in a multi-dimensional conflict situation such as in Manipur. Evidently, appeasement of one can lead to incitement to violence by another. The solution of a particular problem can become the germination ground for others. Clearly, a holistic approach to conflict resolution has become inevitable.

The complexities extend even beyond. Experience has indicated that official attitudes towards peace have been restricted merely to a tactical and temporary cessation of open hostilities. The problem with such a narrow coneptualisation of peace is that it fails to realise that peace does not merely refer to the absence of ambushes, sabotage and other militant activity. It must also initiate an agreement that is capable of defusing potential and future conflicts. Violence does not necessarily have to be defined in terms of open conflicts. Latent violence can be equally distressing and often lethal. Thus, one cannot allow the parties to the conflict to stockpile arms, make tactical moves and plans in the space provided by the so-called peace initiatives and cease-fires. This is no peace at all. It is akin to the Ostrich burying its head in the sand in the belief that this will save it from external threats. Peace has to be as much a state of the mind as it is a physical condition. In the name of peace, if latent violence is allowed to build up, it will lead to potentially divisive complexities and negate the available options for constructing a durable framework for peace.

The globe witnessed such a phenomenon during the Cold War era. While physical wars were relatively under control, subaltern tensions were constantly simmering. Even as there was little or no open conflict, destructive intents continued to crystallize in stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. The increasing instability of the post-Cold War world is evidence of the corrosive nature of these processes.

This cannot, of course, mean that all current peace efforts should be terminated, or that the pattern of processes that have come to be established in the quest for peace must be altogether abandoned. But these must be built on a structure consisting of rules and norms that would engage the kinetic as well as latent forms of violence and conflicts. The olive branch extended by the government to various insurgent groups in the Northeast must proceed on such an approach. Otherwise, a repeat of what the nation witnessed during the turbulent summer of 2001 will continue to repeat itself in Manipur, as also, gradually, in the other northeastern states.


* This article is a revised version of the author's paper presented at the seminar 'Addressing Conflicts In India's North East' organised by the Institute for Conflict Management, June 25-27, 2001, New Delhi.
# Pradip Phanjoubam, a well-known journalist from the Northeast region is currently editor of the Manipur-based Imphal Free Press. He has written extensively on the problems of the Northeast, especially on issues relating to Manipur and Nagaland.
  1. See "NSCN (I-M) agrees to extend ceasefire in Nagaland", For full text of the cease-fire agreement see South Asia Terrorism Portal; Countries; India; States; Nagaland; Papers.

  2. The purported objective of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) is the establishment of a Nagalim (Greater Nagaland), consisting of all the Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and some portions Myanmar, which it considers to be the rightful homeland of the Nagas. Slated to be an independent State, the Nagalim lies in the Patkai range between the 930 and 970 East longitude and 23.50 and 28.30 North latitude at the trijunction of China, India and Myanmar. The proposed Nagalim spreads over approximately 1,20,000 sq. km. in contrast to the present State of Nagaland that has an area of 16,527 sq. km. See

  3. "Manipur speaker, 4 MLAs burnt in mob fury", .

  4. See "13 killed, indefinite curfew in Imphal",

  5. Faced with violent protests in Manipur, the Union government, on July 27, 2001, reverted back to the original cease-fire ground rules with the NSCN-IM. See South Asia Terrorism Portal; Countries; India; States; Manipur;

  6. According to Article 3 of the Indian Constitution, Parliament may by law- (a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State; (b) increase the area of any State; (c) diminish the area of any State; (d) alter the boundaries of any State; (e) alter the name of any State. See

  7. Subir Bhaumik cited in "Sitting on a Volcano", See also Subir Bhaumik, Insurgency in North-East,

  8. The Government of India and the NSCN (IM) on June 14, 2001, agreed to extend the operation of the on-going cease-fire for one year i.e. upto July 31, 2002. The most salient feature of this latest extension of cease-fire is that it was to be without any territorial limits. See South Asia Terrorism Portal; Countries; India; States; Nagaland; Timeline;

  9. See "On the Edge of Hell", Imphal Free Press",






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