ENPO demands Frontier Nagaland Territory settlement before MCC for Lok Sabha polls comes into force
DIMAPUR — The Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) took to the streets of its six districts — Tuensang, Mon, Longleng, Noklak, Kiphire, Shamator — and its ADC headquarters on Friday demanding that the government of India sign the final settlement for Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT) before the Model Code of Conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha election comes into force.
Through simultaneous rallies across the eastern region, the ENPO expressed resentment against Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his failure to deliver on his assurance to hand over the final draft of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) for the FNT.
Addressing the rally at Tuensang, ENPO president Tsapikiu Sangtam said that the eastern areas would not ‘adjust’ with an autonomous council. Instead, it would stick to the ‘unique country model’ arrangement, that is, the Frontier Nagaland Territory, under which the eastern region would acquire legislative, executive, and financial autonomy.
Sangtam explained that this is not an ‘autonomous council, union territory, state, or Sixth Schedule’ but a peculiar arrangement for ten years, after which statehood would be declared.
“Let us not destroy this arrangement but follow it for 10 years. Let us unite and work for the future generation. We will not back down from this arrangement. If this fails, we will drop this offer, go back to the original demand, and let us be prepared for this,” the ENPO president asserted.
“From the grassroots level to the legislators, we will go with this arrangement. No one should argue with this arrangement,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, the ENPO-led apex tribal bodies of the six districts submitted a representation to the Home Minister through the Governor of Nagaland. The representation, a copy of which was accessed by Eastern Mirror, reiterated that the ENPO and the tribal bodies would be compelled to take their own course of action if the sentiments and aspirations of the people of eastern Nagaland were not honoured.
“If the election Model Code of Conduct is declared by the Election Commission of India without signing the MoS, we shall not be held responsible for any untoward situation that may arise in the eastern Nagaland region,” it warned.