“Other districts developed at the expense of 3 districts”
DIMAPUR, APRIL 19: Deputy Chief Minister, Y Patton today disclosed that during the meeting of the Nagaland legislators, led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, both Modi and Amit Shah were urged to expedite the Naga political settlement and that a central leader should visit the State on this year’s Independence Day celebration to make the announcement that the issue has been resolved.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th Central Nagaland Students’ Association (CNSA) general conference held at Agri Expo, Dimapur, Patton said that it would not be possible for any of the elected legislators to step down once the elections are over and the solution demands so.
Informing that Interlocutor AK Mishra is in Nagaland and set to meet different organizations, he asked the civil societies and student bodies to let Mishra know that enough is enough ~ it has been 25 years since the signing of the ceasefire. He added that they should appeal to Mishra that the announcement on August 15 should be made by either the Prime Minister or Home Minister.
MLA Imkong L Imchen, who was special guest, said that Naga people are talking about Naga political issue for the last 70 years, but he feels the boundary of the settlement isn’t properly demarcated, and while one wants to unify all Nagas, the question remains if it is possible and viable and implied that it would be similar to unifying all Tibeto-Mongoloid tribes, which Nagas are part of, which is not possible.
He added that Nagas of Nagaland have not been authorized to take the responsibility of integrating all Nagas together and even Nagas of Arunachal and Assam cannot be integrated as long as the Constitution of India exists which is the reality and when there is one problem at hand, more problems cannot be created.
He cited that even if the case of neighbouring areas are made part of Nagaland, the areas need to be integrated along with all the people already inhabiting and if that is done, Nagas of Nagaland will eventually become slaves.
Foothill Road “most important thing”
On the issue of the much talked about Foothill Road, Imchen said that the road is popular because it isn’t there, the construction isn’t taking place and the popularity is but derived from the negativity surrounding it. He, however, called it a ‘good idea’.
Patton, calling the road “the most important thing”, said that the road is not just for 3 districts and recalling times when he had to make calls frequently because of bandhs in the neighbouring state, he said that till the road is not there, people will continue to suffer.
Development in other districts at the expense of 3 districts
The Deputy Chief Minister, during his speech, mentioned that while Lothas, Aos and Sumis are considered advanced, there are pockets in these 3 districts that are economically more backward that other districts and cited the examples of Mangkolemba in Mokokchung district, Satoi and Agunato in Zunheboto district and Bhandari in Wokha district.
He said that the 3 tribes need to fight for economic development of these 3 districts in a pocket-wise manner, mentioning that while Nagaland Polytechnic, the only one of its kind in the State, is at Atoizu, there is a need for a full-fledged engineering college. Secondly, there is a need for a Government Law College. Thirdly, he said, The Global Open University was supposed to be at Wokha town but was shifted to Chumukedima. He appealed to the CNSA to come out openly on these issues.
Imchen also stated that the districts have been neglected beyond reasonable limit and instead of equitable development, focus was given to the development of other districts at the expense of Mokokchung, Wokha, and Zunheboto.
ENSF reiterates plan for agitation
Earlier, President of Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) Chingmak Chang during his speech, in the presence of Patton, Imchen, MLA Moatoshi Longkumer and Advisor Dr. Longrineken, had reiterated that the Federation is going ahead with the scheduled indefinite agitation from April 21 over State Government’s failure to address their demands.
It may be mentioned that ENSF is demanding inclusion of exempted Departments and posts in the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) Regulation 2020.
Patton, responding to Chang during his address, said that the legislators are going to sit together on April 21, 2022 and during that time the issue, along with other issues, will be discussed.
(Page News Service)