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Indo-Naga solution should not be delayed: Rio

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Kohima, July 29: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said in the aftermath of different Naga political groups (NPGs) signing three agreements with the Centre, Naga people are hopeful that there should be no further delay in finding a solution to the vexed Naga political problem.
Nagaland attained statehood in 1963 as the 16th state in Indian Union and second senior most state in NE, but the development activities could not be done satisfactorily because of insurgency, political issue and also the distance and connectivity from the mainland, said Rio while speaking at the inaugural programme of the newly constructed State Banquet Hall at the new Chief Minister’s Residential Complex at Thizama here.
The programme was streamed live on Youtube and Facebook.
“We (Nagas) are on the threshold of a good future because the Naga political issue (NPI) have completed 23 years of ceasefire and political dialogue while three agreements have been signed between Government of India (GoI) and NPGs – first was Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with NSCN (IM), second on October 31, 2019 officially concluding the negotiations and also the signing of preamble with the Naga National Political Groups,” he said.
“The three agreements signed by the NPGs with the GoI indicates that they have agreed to be within the Indian Union and the people of the State are hopeful with signing of all these agreements there should be no further delay to bring solution,” said Rio.
“The People of Nagaland whom we represent want settlement, peace and development and we as elected members have jointly formed the Joint Legislators Forum on NPI with the Opposition to be united and facilitate a settlement which is honourable, inclusive and acceptable to the people,” he said.
Rio expressed confidence that once the final agreement is achieved, all the problems which Governor had mentioned in his June 16 letter on collapse of law and order in the State will go away.
Remarking that the Naga political groups must have gone to the extent of extortion or forcible collection for their sustenance, he said “we wish that settlement comes true”.
“We must work towards early settlement as early as possible,” he said while affirming that resolution of NPI would usher in peace while developmental activities would accelerate. It would also open opportunities for the Naga youths while their talent and knowledge can be exploited to the full potential, he said.
“It is our hope, prayer and dream that Nagaland lives in peace and prosperity in this land of festivals,” the CM aspired.
Virtually inaugurating the State Banquet Hall in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, Minister for PWD (Housing) Tongpang Ozukum, Rio termed it as a ‘remarkable day’ for the State of Nagaland to finally have a world class banquet hall.
Dwelling on the coronavirus situation, Rio said “Nagaland along with other parts of the world and country is struggling and battling with COVID-19 pandemic”.
He commended the prompt response of the essential service providers and frontline workers including the health and family welfare department, civil administration, police, para military and the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority and various departments like Power, PHE, Information Technology and Communication.
Rio also appreciated all the stakeholders, civil societies, tribal hohos, youth and volunteers for supporting and cooperating with the government in battling and handling the pandemic while also acknowledging the NGOs and Churches for coming forward to cook food for the returnees in quarantine centres.
“This has shown the community strength and Team Nagaland battling COVID-19 has done a commendable job,” the CM said.
Lamenting that four out of the 5 deaths in the State was due to COVID-19, Rio said out of the 1460 confirmed cases till Tuesday, except for three with some symptoms, all are asymptomatic and there is no sickness.
“Our peoples’ immunity is strong and with the collective fight, we hope to achieve our goal of defeating the COVID-19,” asserted the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Minister for Housing, Tongpang Ozukum presenting the technical details of the newly constructed banquet hall said it was completed at a cost of Rs 15.51 crore.
He also said that the new Chief Minister’s Residential Complex was constructed at a revised estimated cost of Rs 119.87 crore. CM Rio shifted to the new complex in December 2019, he said.
Chief Secretary Temjen Toy chaired the programme while State Chaplain Rev T W Yamyap Konyak pronounced the dedicatory prayer. Mengu Suokhrie and Veto & Band presented special numbers. (Page News Service)