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Nagaland peacefully celebrates India’s 73rd Republic Day

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, JANUARY 26: Nagaland peacefully celebrated the 73rd Republic Day of the country taking note of the unfortunate Mon firing incident, which led to the killing of 14 innocent civilians in December.
Addressing the main celebration at the State Civil Secretariat here Wednesday, Chief Minister Rio said “We are taking every measure to lessen the pain of the family members, who lost their near and dear ones, as well as of all those who suffered injuries”.
Immediately after the incidents, the Government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Nagaland Police, led by senior police officers, and it has made good progress in its investigation, he said.
We are sure that justice will be delivered for the families, he said.
Following the incident, there was a public outcry against the continuation of AFSPA in the State and brought to focus once again its potential for misuse.
The State Cabinet decided to take up for immediate repeal of the AFSPA, 1958 with the Government of India while the
State Assembly in its Special Session passed a resolution on December 20 for repeal of AFSPA from Nagaland, he said.
The State Government has taken up with the Central Government for removal of AFSPA from Nagaland, he said.
“The Central Government is considering the matter and we are hopeful of a positive decision soon”, said Rio.
At this point of time, we are again strongly reminded of the long-drawn Naga Political Issue, he said adding that the Naga Insurgency in the ’50s was one of the reasons for imposition of AFSPA in Nagaland.
Since then, 6 decades have passed while there has been ceasefire with the various Naga Political Groups since the last nearly two and a half decades and this has improved law and order in the State, he said.
Maintaining that negotiations between the Naga Political Groups and the GoI have been going on in a cordial atmosphere to find a solution, Rio said that there is good understanding of each other’s positions and concerns, so crucial for overcoming all the differences and coming to a consensus.
He also said that all the members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly have also come together and formed an opposition-less Government to convey to the negotiating parties to give us an honourable, inclusive and acceptable solution.
“We will continue to facilitate for and be hopeful of an early solution”, said Rio.
The Chief Minister also highlighted some of the achievements, policies and programmes of the State Government and also the successful implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in the State during previous year.
Rio went on to state that ensuring good governance and bringing it in an effective manner right at the doorstep of every person has been the endeavour of my Government all throughout.
“We took another step towards this end by creating 3 new districts, Tseminyu, Niuland and Chumoukedima in December 2021, and Shamator District in January 2022”, he said.
The State now has a total of 16 districts.
Tseminyu district fulfills the desire and aspirations of the Rengma people to have a district of their own. Shamator district creation is the culmination of sincere efforts made by the Yimkhiung and Tikhir people by resolving their decades old disputes amicably, and recognition of Tikhir as a separate Naga Tribe, he said.
Rio went on to clarify that the creation of Niuland and Chumoukedima districts was the need of the times and, besides giving the right historical perspective, resolves the matter with regard to the headquarters of the erstwhile Dimapur district.
“There are other demands for creation of new districts but we would not like to divide single tribe districts in keeping with the Government’s motto of unity”, he said while conveying best wishes to the people of the new districts for the rapid and all round development of those districts and on the occasion of celebration of the Republic Day for the very first time in their new districts.
“We continue living in times when we have to battle a once in a century crisis in the form of COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.
The pandemic is not over yet and as of today, we are facing the third wave, which has already affected many parts of our country, he said.
We need to continue adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour as before, particularly mandatory wearing of masks in public places and also follow all the SOPs aimed for preventing the spread of COVID-19, he said.
Further, Rio, who also took the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine right after the celebrations, said the vaccine is the best protection against serious COVID-19 infection.
Maintaining that vaccines need to be taken by each and every person above 15 years of age in the State, he lamented that there are many who have fallen prey to misinformed and false messages by unscrupulous elements and are still to get vaccinated.
In this, the Chief Minister called upon all such individuals to heed the voice of reason, the voice of the billions who have benefited from vaccination, and get their dose immediately.
The overall law and order situation in the State in the year gone by remained peaceful, he said.
The Department of Higher Education, Nagaland is pursuing with the Government of India to set up Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in the State, he said.
The technical education sector will receive a further boost with the commencement of academic sessions at Government Polytechnic, Wokha and Peren, from 2022-23, he said.
Maintaining that it is important that we preserve our culture and develop our languages, through the initiative of the Department of Art and Culture, Rio said the Anglo-Lotha Dictionary was released on September 15, 2021 in Wokha. The dictionary is the first of its kind in Nagaland to use the International Alphabet Phonetics, he said.
In an effort to promote entrepreneurship and provide easier access to finance at cheaper rates through the banks, the Government has implemented the SARFAESI Act in Nagaland. “We have done this after ensuring that the rights of our people guaranteed under Article 371A continue to be fully protected”, said Rio.
The State Government also facilitates self-employment through its various self-employment and capacity building programmes, he said, adding that during the year 2021-22, Rs. 7 crore was allocated under Chief Ministers’ Corpus fund and 47 Tractors were purchased and distributed to genuine farmers. Further, financial assistance to 22 entrepreneurs were provided for self-employment, he said.
India as an independent republic over the past 7 decades has made giant strides in every domain and come to occupy an exalted place among the comity of nations, he said, adding that Nagaland, which is nearing 6 decades as a State, has also been capably marching shoulder to shoulder with all the other States of the Union and contributing in strengthening the nation in every manner and helping achieve all the developmental goals that we set for ourselves when we started our journey as a free nation.
Pointing that this year the country will also be celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to commemorate 75 years of our independence, the Chief Minister urged every citizen to take a pledge on this Republic Day to re-dedicate ourselves for ensuring that the fruits of development reach everyone and every nook and corner of our State.
“We have achieved a lot over the decades, and unitedly we should be able to make Nagaland a more developed and progressive State”, said Rio.
Despite the call for non-participation in the Republic Day celebration by the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation and also the Naga Students’ Federation over the Oting killing, the celebrations went off peacefully, an official said.
Altogether 13 marching contingents from different security forces and NCC and Pipe bands participated in the Republic Day Parade.
The occasion was also marked by presentation of various awards while entertainment through songs and dances performance by TaFMA, Modern Dance from the Department of Women Resource Development, Bhangra Dance performed by 37th Battalion BSF and cultural presentations by Angami, Rengma, Lotha and Sumi cultural troupes enthralled the gathering.
Other highlights of Rio’s speech:
* A 5-Year Planning template has been developed by the Department to implement the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat)
* The Department in collaboration with the Anthropological Society of Nagaland has also completed the first ever compilation and documentation of Naga Customary Practices and Usages.
* The Department of Food & Civil Supplies, Nagaland, successfully implemented Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana schemes and has completed construction of 640 MT godowns at Phek, Longleng, Zunheboto, Peren, Wokha and Kiphire.
* Entrepreneurs Development Centre on pilot basis at Government ITI Complex, Kohima, to train and promote local entrepreneurs and create a support mechanism to the enterprising youth to succeed and become job creators.
* The Department of Power is continuing with its system strengthening of the distribution network. 178.40 km of HT Lines, 117.80 km of new LT lines, installation of 109 new distribution transformers of total capacity of 7.361 MVA, and 3 new 33 / 11kV Substations of total capacity of 7.5 MVA have been added during the year.
(Page News Service)