Creation of Frontier Nagaland reaffirm
Entire ENPO areas Tuesday held public rallies in Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak and Shamator to press for creation of ‘Frontier Nagaland’ state.
People from all walks of life both young and old clad in traditional attire, including students took part at rallies across six districts. Following the rally, the apex tribal organisations of each of the six districts submitted memorandum containing three-point resolution to the Prime Minister of India through respective DCs. (Memo on p-6)
Speaking to media, ENPO president R. Tsapikiu Sangtam informed that the rallies across the six eastern districts and at Kiusam EAC headquarters under Shamator district were successful with no report of any untoward incidents from any of the districts. Sangtam said ENPO will sum up the rally by collecting reports from all the districts and discuss further course of action on August 11.
In Tuensang, the public rally was organised by Chang Khulei Setshang (CKS) at Parade Ground. People from all walks of life with traditional attires attended the rally holding placards and banners. In a press release, CKS general secretary Chongshen Chang informed that all business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed during the rally hours.
Speaking at the rally, talk team convenor K Asungba Sangtam former MP mentioned that the present area of Eastern Nagaland was historically and geographically never under any foreign rule before the advent of independence of India. He said British colonial rulers had left ENPO area unconquered and unoccupied and therefore let it as an ‘excluded and un-administered area’.
Sangtam also cited Article 37(A) Clause 2(B) of the constitution of India, under which the central government provided separate funds to Tuensang district (from where the six districts were carved out of) through Nagaland state.
Sangtam however lamented that this never took place since most of the representatives of erstwhile Tuensang district were “innocent and ignorant” and on the other hand, the governor did not discharge his constitutional obligation.
“The public of this region has lost faith in any kind of development coming forth to them for 50 to 60 years,” he remarked.
He also mentioned that the government of India and ENPO have had four “bilateral talks” and two tripartite talks along with the officials of Nagaland state representatives.
He said the then union home minister Rajnath Singh also met the ENPO delegation twice on August 24, 2015 and October 18, 2019.
Updating on the statehood demand, ENPO vice president W Bendang Chang reiterated that ENPO was not sleeping and was always in talks with the central government. He said the interaction with the Government of India was consistent, but due to the outbreak of the pandemic no meeting could be made possible.
He said On October 13, 2021, ENPO submitted a second reminder letter to the Prime Minister of India after which they were called upon and it was attended by all the ENPO, Eastern Nagaland tribal leaders and Talk Team members.
Delivering solidary message on behalf of Tuensang public, United Sangtam Likhum Pumji president Aliba Sangtam, said that the demand for statehood was around 12 years and urged the people not to be be disheartened.
He said the journey was long and people need to stay united by remembering the pioneers who have paved the way for them. “ENPO is not dead, it is still alive,” he remarked.
Speaking on behalf of the students and youth, Chang Wedoshi Setshang president C Pongsu, read out reports from all the sectors including employment sector and education sector.
Also, speaking at the rally, Eastern Nagaland Women’s Organisation (ENWO) president A Shamtei Phom, said that they have been deprived, neglected, discriminated and suppressed. She called on “brothers and sisters” from ENPO districts to remained united.
The programme was chaired by CKS vice president N Sipong Chang while invocation was given by Chang Baptist Lashong Thangyen (CBLT) executive secretary Rev Achu. Earlier, welcome address was delivered by CKS general secretary Chongshen. A minute of silence remembering the former leaders was also observed.