Message of the Kedahge, Federal Government of Nagaland, Eno Namrikiu in the 71st Anniversary of Martyrs’ Day on the 18th October 2023.
Today, in this 71st anniversary of Naga Martyrs day, I am deeply pained at heart to deliver this message to our nation and all those whoever will come across it.
It is neither a time of privilege nor merriment and jubilation but a poignant moment to recollect and together imagine with you the harsh reality of the reign of terror by India throughout seventy one years of our national martyrdom for freedom. The least that we can do today is to remember them in our heart and pay our due homage to all patriotic Naga Martyrs who sacrificed their yesterday for us; the living Nagas today.
It was on this day in 1952 that late Zasibeito Nagi was murdered by Assam Police in Kohima Town while taking part in the peaceful democratic procession in protest against the imposed 1952 first General election of independent India which Nagas totally rejected.
Notably, the voluntary Plebiscite of the 16th may 1951 affirmed the Naga Independence declaration of 14 Aug 1947. It was conducted through thumb impression with blood and hence the imposed election followed. Nagas were illiterate and innocent with only a nominal percentage of single digit literacy rate in urban areas at that time. The second General election of India in 1957 was also rejected by Nagas.
From 1952 onwards the Reign of terror was unleashed in Nagaland where the Indian Army acted with impunity to freely kill, massacre, torture Nagas using third degree methods and rape women without any compunction even defiling the sanctity of Churches which is sacred. During 1956 and 1957 rural villages and granaries were burnt down resulting to many starvation and epidemic deaths.
Sadly, those horrible and terrifying incidents went unnoticed, unrecorded and unreported due to lack of access in the social media and therefore, the outside world never know what was randomly happening in Nagaland. Illiterate and innocent rural Nagas were not aware of the outside world due to lack of contact and exposure at that period of time.
The first exposure was through Mr Gavin Young, a British journalist who sneaked into Nagaland through Myanmar (Burma) in 1961 and gave coverage to the incident where an IAF Dokota plane was shot down by Naga Home Guards in Matikhru Village territory in Meluri area. The crew members in captivity were treated with Naga hospitality and safely released without any harm through the International Red Cross Society which those first hand witnesses had testified. Even so, as a consequence of that incident, the male population of Matikhru village was massacred on September 6, 1962 barring a lone survivor. The latest massacre was the pre-planned incident on the 4th Dec 2022 at oting in Mon district where 13 innocent public were victims of the Special Force of Assam Rifles.
According to BN Mullich, Chief Intelligent Bureau of Indian troops at ratio of one troop for every adult Naga, moved into Tuensang by October 1955 and the undeclared war on the Nagas began Carrying forward her plan in 1957, SM Dutt, Dy. Director of IB Shillong coined the Naga peoples convention (NPC) with a few handpicked literate Nagas to represent the various Naga tribes with the sole aim to mollify the unwavering NNC, the 16 point agreement and puppet Nagaland state born on the 1st Dec 1963 was the outcome of that plan but was rejected by the NNC out rightly.
Side by side with that arrangement, the Armed Forces Special power Act of Assam in 1958, was hatched and enacted to be applied in Nagaland. We are still under the clutches of this black law and suffering its consequences in which Indian Security Force are immune to legal prosecution and justice under Indian law.
At this juncture the world condemns war crimes and invasion of the sovereign territory of another nation in the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war, so also terrorism in the most recent Hamas and Israel war that started on the 7th September 2023.
Since 1952, Nagas are suffering the brunt of terrorism and invasion to this day, deprived of fundamental human rights in the hands of the acclaimed biggest democracy in the world, India. Will the world community ignore the plight of Nagas and remain silent as mute spectators?
Under the prevailing circumstances today in our land, I ask myself if there is any descendent of our worthy martyrs playing into the hand of India by accepting and enforcing division in Naga family and championing fratricide. God forbid anybody to incur national and universal curse upon oneself.
The spirits of our martyrs beckons us to rise us to carry on and accomplish the unfinished task they left behind. Are the Nagas ready to answer and take up this clarion call?
May the Almighty god grant us victory over sheer evil and enable our nation to accomplish the cherished dream of freedom and glorify His name for ever.