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State funeral on Tuesday
Dimapur, September 23: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today recalled his personal association with late Imtikumzuk as a friend, colleague and gentleman of few words who always meant what he said. He was speaking at the send-off service organized at Dimapur Airport premises in honour of the departed leader whose mortal remains arrived today from New Delhi.
Recalling the friendship between Tuophema and Ungma villages besides his association with Imtikumzuk at the political level also, Rio stated that he had high respect for the departed leader with whom he shared trust, zeal and vision. The Chief Minister stated that after getting elected this year to the NLA, Imtikumzuk fell ill.
Rio said that he met Imtikumzuk, his wife and sister in Delhi recently while the latter was undergoing treatment. He applauded Imtikumzuk’s cheerful nature and admired his eagerness to come back to the State and work for the people. The Chief Minister also said he was touched by the kind words of Ungma villagers who told him that they had faith in his leadership when he visited Ungma village this year during the Lok Sabha by-poll election campaign.
“During the time that we worked together in the party and the Government, I have never heard any complaints from him. I have only heard words of gratitude from him. It is very sad indeed,” Rio stated and added as humans, we do not know the plans of God but assured that he and his colleagues will always be there for the family of late Imtikumzuk.
“I want to tell you that you are not alone. We are with you. Though we could not do anything more for him and although he is no more, we will be with you in the times to come. We will share your problems and joys. Let us trust in God so that the living will continue to live with hope in Christ. I say this with confidence that my colleagues and my party are with me,” Rio added.
Paying rich tributes to Imtikumzuk, NDPP President and PDA Chairman Chingwang Konyak recalled his association since the 90s with the departed leader. “I have known Imtikumzuk since the 90s when I was president of the NPCC and he was then Congress youth president of Aonglenden Assembly Constituency. He was very active and rose to the present position from the grassroots. A two-time MLA, he was upright and promising and his untimely demise is the loss of not only a leader but a comrade who had shown his enthusiasm and courage to build the party with utmost loyalty and dedication,” Chingwang said and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the wife and children and prayed for solace and comfort upon them.
Minister HE & TE and State BJP President Temjen Imna Along said that it had been a tremendous journey and thanked the family for allowing him to be a part of this journey. “We can only feel the hurt and the pain but we do not know how to feel the loss the family has suffered. My heart goes out to them for the loss of a father, a simple husband and a father who always listened to his children. I on behalf of the BJP party, the BJP Legislature Party led by the Hon’ble Deputy CM Y. Patton who expressed his regret for being unable to be here today, express our deepest condolences,” he said.
The Minister also thanked Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang and his family members and all MLAs from the NPF party who came forward to express their solidarity and help in Delhi and Dimapur.
Expressing solidarity with Ungma village, the Minister prayed that God would bring forth more leaders from the soil like Imtikumzuk whose good nature and humility would be remembered.
Ao Senso Telongjem Dimapur also paid their respects and thanked the Ungma Senso Telongjem Dimapur for the time given to honour the departed leader. The ASTD said that the demise of Imtikumzuk was a great loss for the Ao community and the Nagas in general and conveyed deepest sympathies to the bereaved family.
Speaking on behalf of the Ungma Senso Telongjem Dimapur, Ungma Village Council and Ungma Baptist Church, Supulepden Jamir conveyed gratitude and happiness to all who came forward to help and show their concern in time of distress and sorrow.
“We do not want to accept this day but we have to. Today we are facing the untimely demise of our leader and there are no words to describe our agony. The only solace is that, it is not how long one lives, but how well one lived. I remember all the golden deeds he has done,” he said and led the gathering in observing two minutes of silence in respect of the departed soul.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude to all well-wishers and all those who came forward to help, Imkongzenla, wife of late Imtikumzuk thanked God for the divine strength they received. She also thanked Minister Along, PRO to Chief Minister Rusemtong Longkumer, officials of Nagaland House, students in Delhi for their untiring efforts to ensure early transportation of the mortal remains back to Nagaland.
Also speaking at the service, Imtikumzuk’s daughter added that it would not have been so easy to bring back her father’s mortal remains without the help of all those who came forward in their time of tragedy. She described her father as the most wonderful and humble person she ever knew. “He lives on in our hearts. The only thing that keeps us going is the fact that one day we will be together again,” she added.
The service was chaired by Imnatoshi Longkumer, Pastor of Dimapur Ao Baptist Arogo. He stated that Imtikumzuk will be missed and that beyond the natural sorrow of losing a loved one, the super-natural joy that comes is in knowing the reality of Jesus, the reality of God’s love, the reality of eternity and above all the reality of future reunion. The service ended with a mass prayer after which the mortal remains were taken to Kohima before finally proceeding to Ungma Village where a State Funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. (Page News Service)