Officials representing the Indian central government are expected to reach a settlement with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) during the Indo-Naga peace talks on Thursday, October 31. The Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has called for protests and a strike across the bordering state of Manipur on Thursday from 04:00 to 23:59 (local time), to bring awareness to the impact of the peace talks on the territorial integrity of Manipur. Organizers did not immediately announce details regarding the protests, but asked supporters to take to the streets en masse. Supporters of the State Communist Party of India are also due to participate in the strike and protest actions. COCOMI said that the protests are not expected to affect emergency services or media, according to local media outlets.
On Wednesday, October 30, supporters of the Indo-Naga peace talks held a candlelit vigil across Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur to demand a solution to the protracted talks. Counterprotests from pro-Naga rights supporters are possible on Thursday.
A heightened security presence, as well as transportation and business disruptions, are expected near all protest sites and during the work stoppage. Further related protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
The Indian central government has been in talks with Naga-rights groups since 2015. Talks have stalled as of October 30 due to the NSCN-IM demanding that the Naga people be accorded a separate constitution and flag.
Naga groups have sought a sovereign ethnic homeland in Nagaland and Naga-inhabited areas, including Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Myanmar since the 1950s. The NSCN-IM signed a peace treaty with the Indian government in 1997.
Individuals in Manipur, Nagaland, and other Naga-inhabited areas are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions, and obey all instructions issued by local authorities.
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