Political parties in Manipur have decided to request the Centre to arrest the Naga militant charged with the molestation of a Manipuri actress saying the state government was facing difficulty in arresting him.
An all-party meeting took the decision late last night to request the central government to arrest Livingstone Anal and hand him over to the state government for trial under state law.
Official sources said that the state government was handicapped in arresting the militant as the NSCN-IM was engaged in peace talks with the central government after signing a ceasefire agreement.
However, some social organisations picked holes in the argument justifying the request to the Centre to arrest the militant, saying the "ceasefire between the Centre and NSCN-IM is in force in Nagaland only and not in Manipur".
They said Livingstone, who is reportedly hiding in the jungles of Chandel district bordering Myanmar, could have been arrested immediately by state forces.
The meeting, presided over by senior Congress leader and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, decided that the resolution adopted in the meeting would be conveyed to the Union Home Ministry in a day or two.
The meeting also appealed to the Film Forum Manipur and other associations of Manipuri artistes to call off their indefinite general strike which had been suspended on account of Christmas celebrations.
The organisers said they would consider an appeal by the political parties to call off the strike which is due to resume from midnight tonight.
The Naga militant had allegedly molested film actress Momoko and two other artistes on December 18 at Chandel district during a musical concert.
The state government has announced a cash reward of Rs5 lakh to anyone who can give information leading to the arrest of Livingstone.