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Ball in Centre’s court, high drama expected at ENPO-HM meet

Nagaland News

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2: The much awaited and all important ENPO meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah is on the cards on Saturday, December 3.
An 11-member delegation of ENPO leaders accompanied by two former MPs Asungba Sangtam and Wangyuh Konyak are in the capital.
Sources say Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and some of his ministerial colleagues may also attend.
Community sources, however, did not appear too enthusiastic about the State Government delegation led by Rio to attend the meeting.
“Are they also coming? But why?” remarked the source on the condition of anonymity.
Another leader said as far as the people of the Mon-Tuensang region are concerned, only those who back “Our demand for Statehood” should logically attend the meeting.
“We are not against any individual…but what’s our Indian culture…should someone come for a solemn occasion without invitation”, the source maintained.
Answering questions, the source said, “Unless they are coming to sabotage our demand and a very specific demand, why and how they will feel comfortable in the room?”
According to sources the meeting is to take place in the afternoon at North Block office.
Tsapikiu Sangtam, president ENPO, Chingmak Chang, president ENSF, Y Konyak, ENWO representative and Lemba Chang member ENPO are also part of the delegation.
Seven tribes ~ Konyaks, Sangtams, Changs, Phoms, Khiamniungans, Yimchungrus and Tikhirs ~ are native communities of this region.
When Tuensang and Mon districts were included to be ‘parts of the 16th State of Indian Union’, that is the present day State of Nagaland there were a lot of hopes and aspirations for 7 tribes of this region.
But the general feeling is “we have been failed by main-stream Nagaland. And so we better have a State of our own”. This view is of course countered by mainstream Naga politicians.
One viewpoint is a number of MPs of various parties actually hailed from this region.
The list includes sitting Rajya Sabha MP, S Phangnon Konyak of BJP and former MPs Chingwang Konyak, Asungba Sangtam, Wangyuh Konyak and late CM Chang.
The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) is stewarding a demand for Frontier Nagaland.
At present there are 5 districts in Eastern Nagaland ~ Tuensang, Mon, Noklak, Longleng and Kiphire.
Some years ago, the students took the tough plunge and the Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation (ENSF) dissociated themselves from the apex and much influential Naga Students’ Federation (NSF).
To a question, ENPO and other leaders say, “Finally the ball is in the court of Union Home Ministry and the Government of India. Time for submitting any memorandum or so-called purposeless goal is over. We will share our views and other details only after tomorrow’s meeting.”
From the State Government, security clearance to attend the meeting has been sought for CM Rio, Deputy CM Y Patton and Ministers/Advisors Pangnyu Phom, CL John, Kashiho Sangtam and Yangseo Sangtam.
Shah could meet ministerial team led by Rio and ENPO delegation separately as well.