Dimapur, November 21: Against the backdrop of the ongoing indefinite total economic blockade imposed on Nagaland along Mariani-Mokokchung National Highway 702(D) at New Sonowal by some Assam based organizations since November 15 last, the Tzurangkong Range Naga Youth Front (TRNYF) has impressed upon the Government of Nagaland for early completion of the Naga Foothill Road.
In an open letter to the Chief Minister of Nagaland, TRNYF president Bendangwati and secretary Shiluyongdang indicated that Nagas can survive without depending on road transit through Assam. But it insisted that as long as the Naga Foothill Road remains just lip service, Nagas along the border belt will continue to suffer economically and mentally at the hands of Assamese people.
The youth front stated that with all major roads leading to Nagaland crossing Assam, people living in the border belt have been subjected to undue harassment ever since the border problem cropped up between Nagaland and Assam.
“Road blockades are enforced for trivial matters with the sole intention to derive advantage out of the Nagas. The present indefinite total blockade of Mariani-Mokokchung National Highway 702(D) restricting all Nagaland bound vehicles at New Sonowal reflects the ever existing narrow and immature mindset led by some selfish leaders from Assam disrupting the peaceful co-existence of the two states,” the open letter alleged.
According to TRNYF, Nagas should not be placed at a disadvantaged position solely because Nagas commute or travel through Assam. Rather, the youth front pointed out that both states benefits through the inter-state connectivity.
“We are also aware that the national highway is not the sole property of Assam state but a national property and whilst the act of blockading national highways is illegal as per the National Highways Act 1956, sub-section 8(1), it is beyond reasons as to why the Government of Assam turns a blind eye against such illegal activities,” it said.
The open letter lamented that the increasing highway blockades at the whims and fancy of every Tom, Dick and Harry in Assam with no action taken against such illegal blockades and its leaders have emboldened every Assam based organizations/civil societies/groups to impose such bandhs against the Nagas.
“We are a peaceful people but when our patience is taken for cowardice and our tolerance is considered as weakness, we have no other option but to stand up against such illegal activities and criminals. Ultimately we are convinced that it is an act of declaring war against us who are affected most by the total blockade of National Highway at New Sonowal. These cascading effects make us to believe that we can also survive without this NH 702(D) and intends to counter block the highway,” it stated.
Impressing upon the CM to fulfill the long felt desire for early completion of the Naga Foothill Road “to save the pride and dignity” of Naga people, the open letter forewarned, “As long as this Naga Foothill Road remains just a lip service, Nagas along the border belt will continue to suffer economically and mentally at the hands of Assamese people.” (Page News Service)