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FGN celebrates golden jubilee of Naga Army Raising Day at Sakraba

By EMN Updated: Jan 04, 2014 12:50 am

Sakraba (Phek), January 3

The Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) today celebrated golden jubilee of Naga Army Raising Day at Sakraba village in Phek district.Speaking on the occasion, FGN Kedahge Gen (Retd.) Viyalie Metha lauded the Naga army saying “because of your bravery, dedication and sacrifice Nagaland stands as a nation today”.
“Let the same integrity, intrepidity and perseverance prevail in you to uphold and defence our Nation,” said Gen (Retd.) Metha after unfurling the jubilee monolith and National flag.
“They were all along relentlessly sacrificing their whole lives in the service of our Nation since the past fifty years or more, when Naga Home Guard was given full fledged Naga Army on 3rd January 1964,” he said
He said history of defense in Naga tradition tells us that every able bodied male member is a warrior and guard of their villages, which was practiced till late 19th century. During early 20th century, there was mass involvement of our people in the two World Wars, as a result, there was change in peoples’ attitude and a peaceful atmosphere prevailed in Naga villages for some time.
He also said that modern history of Nagaland took shape when the British withdrew from Nagaland where the Naga leaders declared their independence on August 14, 1947 in order to keep the Nation’s record clear.
“And again in support of this declaration, the 1951 voluntary Naga plebiscite was conducted at the instance of the Naga National Council (NNC), and the result was 99% voted in favour to remain independent. Thus our National foundation was laid on solid rock through NNC,” he said.
He said India attained its independence on August 15, 1947 as one big nation, but one day behind Nagaland soon India started to exert its dominion over comparatively small but rightful nation-Nagaland, “which was openly demonstrated on 18th October, 1952 how Zasibito of Jotsoma village was killed in the heart of Kohima town.”
He said mass massacre of patriotic villages beginning with Yengpang village on November 15, 1954 where all together 53 villagers including men, women and children were massacred. “All these led Nagas to think seriously to defend themselves from India aggression,” he said.
Gen (Retd.) Metha also recalled that in 1955 Naga youth volunteers came out from all villages and formed Volunteers. The Indian Army perpetrated full scale war against Naga Volunteers. After sometime, Volunteer was re-named as Safe Guard. The Naga Safe Guard and Indian Army had their first encounter at Mima village, Angami region on 27th February 1956. Then in March 1956 Safe Guard was again changed and called Home Guard. The Naga Home Guard and Indian Army fought open battle for the first time in Kohima village on June 11, 1956. Thus India fought an undeclared full-scale war against Nagaland till an International Cease-Fire Agreement was signed between Government of India and Federal Government of Nagaland which took effect on 6th September 1964.
“Prior to this during the period of intense fighting in Nagaland, Naga soldiers were able to make several successful Alee Command (Foreign Mission). The success in their missions prompted the need for an international competency; thus the Naga Home Guard was made full fledged standing Army as ‘Naga Army’ on 3rd January 1964. Since then, 3rd January every year is observed as Naga Army Raising Day. Thus we are celebrating the completion of 50 years today,” Gen (Retd.) Metha said.
Also speaking on the occasion, C-in-C Naga Army, FGN Lt. Gen. Südure Chizo saluted all the Naga army heroes who have sacrificed their lives in protecting “our people and Nagaland, fighting courageously with the mighty Indian Armed Forces.”
“All these patriots who toiled and suffered for Nagaland sacrificing their whole lives are honored and they will be continued to remember by our people as our National Heroes,” he said.
The celebration was also marked by presentation of awards, cultural performance by Phek village youth, SBC Sunday school children and Kuzha cultural club. Gen (Retd.)

By EMN Updated: Jan 04, 2014 12:50:56 am