Prolonging Naga political solution will leave no future for Naga generations: Rio
Appeals for united voice to accept whatever is possible now
KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 25: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, while expressing fear that prolonging Naga political solution will leave no future for the coming Naga generation, today said that solution to the vexed political issue is the only way forward towards development and progress.
Rio, while addressing Sekrenyi festival celebration, organized by Angami Public Organisation at Kisama here, said negotiations between the Government of India and Naga nationalist groups have been going since 1997 but sans solution for 25 years.
Saying that due to the unresolved Naga struggle, there has been unabated illegal taxation upon the general public, extortion and harassment by Naga groups, Rio said “If this continues there will be no future for the younger Naga generation”.
Rio opined that Nagas have to be united and discuss on how to go about for a solution to the decades-old political issue and also voice what to take while deliberations can continue for the things which are currently not acceptable to either side.
He said that the 1951 Naga Plebiscite was historic with all Nagas deciding to remain separate from the Indian Union and now once again Nagas have to be united and voice together for an early political solution.
Maintaining that Nagas have been divided to the extreme with infighting for too long, he reiterated that even the 60 legislators of the State Assembly understanding the pulse for unity have together and formed an opposition-less government called the United Democratic Alliance.
He went on to remind the Nagas that the decades of Naga struggle has been partially successful as the Centre has declared it as a ‘political struggle’ and also recognized the unique history of Nagas while understanding that the tradition and culture of Nagas are different.
Rio therefore said Nagas must be willing to accept whatever is acceptable between the negotiating parties and those cannot be continued after solution so that peace and development can be achieved.
Lamenting that Nagas do not discuss economic development but always talk about politics and law and order problems, he appealed to all Nagas to come together and unitedly voice for an acceptable and honourable solution to the political issue.
Rio also said that following the massacre of 14 civilians by security forces in Oting village of Mon district in December 2021, there has been demand from various quarters for repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Recalling that AFSPA was imposed in Nagaland in 1958 when Naga insurgency was at its peak, Rio lamented that despite ceasefire and improvement in the situation, AFSPA continues to remain due to the unresolved political issue.
Nagaland Government has already passed a resolution in the State Assembly for repeal of AFSPA from the State, he said adding that it has also been saying ‘no’ to imposition of AFSPA every time the opinion of the State is sought by Home Ministry.
Rio, however said that the Union Home Ministry has said that if AFSPA is repealed the State Government and the civil societies will have to take the responsibility of controlling the Naga groups. The Chief Minister therefore feared that AFSPA will not be revoked from Nagaland unless the decades old political struggle is resolved.
(Page News Service)