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Nagaland

Former MP and Padma Shri recipient Melhüpra Vero passes away

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By Our Reporter Updated: Jan 24, 2020 6:27 pm
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Former MP Melhüpra Vero

Our Reporter

Dimapur, Jan. 24 (EMN): Former Member of Rajya Sabha, Melhüpra Vero, passed away after a brief illness at around 6.30 am on Friday at his residence at Walford in Dimapur. He was 87, and is survived by his wife, Kerele Vero and two children, a son and a daughter.

Vero was a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to society, making him the seventh Naga to receive the award. He served as a member of the Indo-Naga Peace Mission during 1956-57 and was the 17th convert to Christianity, serving as the second chairman of the CYE of Runguzu.

Vero did his primary schooling from Middle School in Chozuba in 1945, matriculation from government high school of Kohima in 1956, and Arts from St. Edmund’s College in Shillong in 1959.

He was a member of the upper house of the parliament from 1964-74, making him the first MP representing Nagaland for two consecutive terms. He was also a two-time member of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, first from Phek in 1974 and then from Chozuba in 1989.

Vero was the first president of the Naga Hoho in 1998 and served till 2004. Also, he served as the chairman of the Chakhesang Tribal Council from 1962-64 and president of Chakhesang Public Organisation from 1982 to 1984.

The senior parliamentarian had toured Kathmandu, and the Bangladesh border, Myanmar, Atlanta and Bangkok, campaigning and appealing to leaders of national political groups to reconcile through the spirit of “forgive and forget”. He had also walked across Patkai hills on foot to Myanmar and held consultative meeting with late SS Khaplang and Naga political leaders at Kalang village on April 21 1999.

A send-off service for Vero is scheduled to be held at the Agri Expo in Dimapur on January 25 at 9 am. He will be taken via Kohima, Zuketsa, Pfutsero, Chesezu, and Runguzu. He will be laid to rest at his native village Runguzu in Chozuba subdivision.

A brief lifetime achievements of Melhüpra Vero

* Member of Indo Naga peace mission (1956-57)

* First Naga MP, Rajya Sabha, for two consecutive terms (1964-74)

* Appointed member, parliamentary committee for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 1969

* MLA, NNO, 19th Phek A/C (1974)

* President, Chakhesang Public Organisation (1983-86)

* MLA 18 Chozuba A/C. Appointed Cabinet Minister (1989)

* Convener, Naga Hoho Liaison Committee (1993)

* First president of the Naga Hoho (1998-2004).

Some landmark events when he was president of Naga Hoho

* Attended the Atlanta Peace conference on Naga crisis.

* Ceasefire declaration between the insurgent groups and the government of India initiated by Naga Hoho and the churches in 1997.

* Walked on foot to Myanmar with his delegates to propagate the message of peace and reconciliation among the Nagas and peaceful co-existence with the neighbours in 1999.

* Held a mammoth peace rally in Kohima for peace and reconciliation in 2001.

* Visited Thailand twice for consultations for Indo-Naga peace process (1996-1999).

9. Padma Shri awarded by the president of India in recognition of his contribution to the society.

Message from Governor

The governor of Nagaland and Meghalaya, RN Ravi, has expressed shock at the demise of Melhupra Vero through a condolence message, saying that he was decorated with one of the highest civilian honours Padma Shri in 2006 for his contribution to society.

“He had served the society in different capacities as Member of Parliament, Minister of Nagaland government, president of Naga Hoho etc. In his death, the state has lost a dedicated and sincere public leader,” read the message.

The governor conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed that God gives “strength and fortitude to the family to bear with this devastating loss and eternal peace to the departed soul.”

Message from Chief Minister

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has expressed shock and grief at the demise of former Rajya Sabha MP Melhupra Vero on Friday. Rio described the deceased as a political giant and a popular political leader who was full of life, wit and great sense of humour.

“He was multi-faceted, having good knowledge about Nagas’ glorious history and culture. During his long political career, he held multiple responsibilities including member of Indo-Naga Peace Mission, Chairman of Chakhesang Tribal Council, Rajya Sabha MP and Cabinet Minister in Government of Nagaland. He was also the first president of the Naga Hoho,” read CM’s condolence message.

“On a personal level, I found him to be a very warm and positive person. I found him to be always concerned for good and welfare of the Nagas and his indomitable Naga spirit in him was the main driving force behind his selfless service to the people. He also rendered his invaluable services towards the resolution of the decades old Naga political Issue. His manifold services for the Naga people can never be forgotten and the vacuum created by his demise will be difficult to fill,” it added.

The chief minister also conveyed his deepest condolences to the members of the bereaved family on behalf of the government of Nagaland. He prayed that God would grant the bereaved family strength and solace in this hour of grief and that the soul of the departed would rest in eternal peace.

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By Our Reporter Updated: Jan 24, 2020 6:27:12 pm