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Nagaland 2016: A cauldron of controversies and brickbats

By EMN Updated: Dec 31, 2016 12:46 am

Dimapur, Dec. 30: As AD 2016 draws to a close, news pundits and data analysts across the globe have already begun labelling it the worst–even the ‘darkest’–year of the millennium. Such an assessment might fall blameworthy to having pandered to broad pessimisms from frequent headline-making events–from terrorist attacks to economic meltdown–and nervous international politics. Simply, it could subjective.

However, for sleepy third-world communities nestled among the Asiatic Diasporas to whom public life is often gauged by political pedantry, corruption, and general maladministration, the year
just might be the worst yet. And for Nagaland, the year certainly was primarily a bad hair year where corruption, maladministration and broad socio-political distortions.
For Nagaland, the year began with a long-wished facility becoming a reality for the insurgency-hit state: A passport office. The first Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) was inaugurated by union minister of state for external affairs, Gen. (retd.) VK Singh at the DC’s office complex in Chumukedima in Dimapur.

Another reason to celebrate was, this time, literary: Naga novelist Easterine Kire won The Hindu Prize for 2015, for her novel When the River Sleeps.

On the political front, retired bureaucrat Visasolie Lhoungu was appointed the new president of the Nagaland unit of the BJP. Lhoungu was elected by an electoral college comprising the party’s state council.

However, February was where it all started going downhill. Kiphire district became the scene of communal tensions after a couple was shot dead by two unidentified assailants.

March brought the first touch of politics for the year. A candidate of the ruling NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, K G Kenye, was elected unopposed to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Nagaland.

Also, a headline was Kholi Konyak, then president of NSCN-KK, joining the NSCN (IM). In a declaration on March 12, Kholi said he had “taken the right decision to join the only correct national line under the leadership of Chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah”.

April brought in attention to the state’s Amur Falcon conservation efforts. One of three tracker-tagged falcons was being reported to have been on to its third migratory cycle across the globe.

Another event was the Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang being conferred with “Lifetime Achievement Award in Transformation” at the 6th Global Leadership Awards 2016 held at the Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana Hotel, in Indonesia.

A prominent political event also set a tone for the coming state assembly elections. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) suspended former minister Imkong L Imchen from active and primary membership on grounds of anti-party activities.

Another new projection was the Rengma Hoho demanding the creation of Tseminyu district. The Hoho said successive state governments have neglected it since its inception.

May 1 of 2016 will be remembered as the grimmest monsoon day for Nagaland in years. On that fateful day, a terrifying cyclonic storm swept devastation through several districts in the state before leaving a trail of destruction on properties. At least an estimated 1,800 houses across towns, outposts and villages in Longleng, Mokokchung and Mon, initially, was reported.

After Imkong Imchen’s suspension, the NPF suspended Lok Sabha MP, Neiphiu Rio, from the primary and active membership of the party.

On the sports front, a Naga boxing coach, Akokla Tzudi, became the first star boxing coach from Nagaland to be part of the AIBA, or the International Boxing Association, originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur, based in Switzerland.

Here are the main moments of 2016 (archives)
Dimapur, May 31: The Government of India today assured to sanction Rs 30 crore to the Hindustan Paper Corporation, out of which an amount of Rs 12 crore would be made available to the Nagaland Pulp & Paper Company Limited (NPPC Ltd) so that outstanding dues amounting to around Rs 12 crore can be cleared and machineries sent for repairs can be delivered at the earliest.

Thakur announces new stadium plans for Nagaland
“The BCCI will live up to your expectations. Whatever your expectations are.” With these two sentences, Anurag Thakur, the new czar of Indian cricket, removed any lingering fear(s) of the air of optimism that preceded his arrival in Nagaland being proved as unfounded.
Nagaland Congress
A group of suspended Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) leaders floated a new political party called the ‘Nagaland Congress’.
‘March 5’ Lynching
Inquiry Comm. wonders why Nagaland govt. failed to release findings: It would appear that the government of Nagaland, for some curious reason, is not keen on making public the report of the judicial commission that was formed in the aftermath of the 2015-May 5 mob-lynch in Dimapur. The Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC), it emerged, had already submitted a 52-page report to chief minister TR Zeliang on March 9 last. The same report was submitted to the chief secretary of Nagaland, Pankaj Kumar, the next day. However, the contents of the report remains sealed.
No proxy teachers after June 30: Yitachu
For those government teachers who use their substitutes to attend to their duties at schools, they will be able to enjoy their grace period till June 30, 2016. Beginning from the month of July, the concerned department will be conducting a thorough investigation to look into the illegal practice.
The King’s Messenger, Rev Lano Longchar dies at 81
One of the most popular, and well-known Christian preacher from Nagaland, Rev Lano Longchar passed away at Imkongliba Memorial District Hospital at Mokokchung. He was 81.
Helpline launched for women
The governor of Nagaland PB Acharya has launched a helpline for women ‘Helpline-181’. Acharya launched the facility in the premises of the district hospital of Dimapur besides inaugurating the Sakhi one-stop centre, intended to support women affected by violence both in private and public spaces.
Fuel adulteration racket busted; chain of dubious nexus suspected
A fuel adulteration racket of huge proportions, exposed on Monday by the anti-graft movement, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), could yet unravel a potential nexus between the Department of Food and Civil Supplies and the oil suppliers involved in the racket.
NSCN-IM leader Isak Chishi Swu no more
Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) Chairman Isak Chishi Swu, passed away this afternoon after a prolonged illness in New Delhi.
Law students demand Govt to set up Govt Law College
Law students in Nagaland are demanding setting up of a Government Law College so that students get maximum facilities to study law and also do research on the subject.
‘SMS threat’
The Naga Students’ Federation held a joint consultative meeting with Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers Association, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, federation units, sub-ordinate bodies and senior leaders this morning at its conference hall to discuss about the phone call and ‘SMS threat’ to the president of Pochury Students’ Union allegedly by Assam Rifles.
Merang Jamir, aged 59, became the first Naga International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) “B” Judge in the month of April this year. Now he can be a Jury, Judge, Chief Range Officer or a Range officer in any of the national and international Shooting competitions/championships including the World Cup.
Dhansiri-Zubza railway line
The 90.5 km long Broad Gauge (BG) line connecting Dhansiri-Zubza in Nagaland would be fast tracked into completion within three years, instead of the original deadline March 2020.
Three dissociates from Naga Hoho
The Ao Senden has resolved to dissociate its membership from Naga Hoho until the latter revokes its consent on Rongmei recognition issue. Two other major Naga tribal groups – Sumi Hoho and Lotha Hoho – also withdrew their affiliation to Naga Hoho.
Rongmei issue affects Ao Senden
The cracks that have been widening in the Ao Senden, the apex Ao civil organization, turned into a full-blown crisis when four of its officials led by the president tendered their resignations. Sources said that the five range presidents had called for an Ao Senden presidential meeting to be held on November 12 next. The president of Ongpangkong Range did not attend the November 7 meeting. The Ao Senden officials who resigned today were of the view that the November 7 meeting of the five range presidents were “unconstitutional”.
Money spent by candidates in Nagaland

During the last state assembly elections, according to an assessment provided by YouthNet, the total amount of money spent by candidates in Nagaland was a staggering Rs. 937,82,67,500 (Nine hundred and thirty seven crore, eighty lakh, sixty seven thousand and a five-hundred).
Langpangkong range pledged their support
On September 3 last, at Chuchuyimlang town, 19 villages and 15 town units/compounds under Langpangkong range pledged their support to a clean election campaign initiated by Langpangkong Kaketshir Mungdang (LKM), the range’s apex students’ body.
Neichute wins SEOY- India 2016 Award
Naga entrepreneur, Neichute Doulo of Entrepreneurs Associate, Kohima has won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY)-India 2016 Award–the results of which was announced on Thursday at an awards ceremony in New Delhi.
CCoFA NH 29 bandh from Oct 17; State Cabinet asks to call it off
Even as the State Cabinet at an emergency meeting today has resolved to ask the Coordination Committee on Fuel Adulteration (CCoFA) to call off the proposed bandh on National Highways from October 17, the committee has announced to go ahead with the indefinite NH-29 bandh.
Qualification row: Rio appears in court
The chessboard intrigue that has recently come to dominate Naga politics was delivered its biggest move yet when Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio on Friday came to appear before the court to testify in connection with his alleged false affidavit case.
Mnhonlumo removed as parliamentary secretary
For reasons that remain unexplained yet (officially), the BJP legislator from oil-rich Bhandari constituency in Wokha district, Mmhonlumo Kikon was on Friday stripped off of his portfolio as the parliamentary secretary of Labour Employment, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Border Affairs by the TR Zeliang-led state government.
Full-fledged Women Police Station
Close on the heels of the first Police Commissionerate system in Dimapur, the first full-fledged Women Police Station in Dimapur was inaugurated.
Zeliang wins case
Chief Minister TR Zeliang wins case in Gauhati High Court on subject of limitation regarding to the allegation that he filed false affidavit.
Government bans contract employment
Govt issues Office Memorandum banning contract employment or all sorts of ‘backdoor’ appointment. However comes up with another OM to regularise those contract employees who had attained 3 years in service
Kohima & Tuensang reaffirm brotherhood with ‘treaty’
Nov 30: In a historic development, Kohima village–the biggest village in Nagaland–and Tuensang village, the third biggest village in the state, have stepped in together to establish a bond of friendship and brotherhood ‘to foster love, respect, trust and better understanding among the tribes.’
PB Acharya flays corruption
Nagaland governor PB Acharya came out openly in support of ACAUT’s demand for CBI probe into PDS and other scams that have engulfed the state government.
ACAUT alleges PDS rice scam in State F&CS dept
ACAUT Nagaland has alleged yet another scam – this time concerning suspected diversion of rice supplied through Public Distribution System – in the state Food and Civil Supplies department which reportedly runs to the tune of “multiple thousand crore” rupees.
PDS rice scam: 3 ACAUT members arrested for ‘criminal trespass’
The series of collisions between ACAUT and the department of Food and Civil Supplies over alleged pilferage of supply goods by the latter – which allegedly runs to the tune of several crore rupees – was given a viscous turn on Monday that could yet snowball into a major confrontation.
Six NPGs merge, form ‘Working Group’
Six Naga political groups – GPRN/NSCN, FGN, NNC(Parent Body), NPGN/NNC (NA), NSCN(R) and NNC/GDRN (NA) – have decided to merge and form an interim platform christened ‘Working Group’.
Govt unleashes ‘martial force’ on peaceful protestors
The enduring image of a peaceful ACAUT rally on Thursday that was disfigured into pandemonium by the state government’s application of brute force was that of a drenched, tear-gassed but defiant-looking Khekiye K Sema, and an unidentified elderly woman in a red cardigan down on her knees, refusing to leave or stand down even as everyone around them scattered to safety.
ACAUT members released
Dec 16: The three ACAUT members – Joel Nillo Kath, Simon Kelio and Hukiye Yepthomi – arrested on charges of ‘criminal trespass’ on December 12 last, were released on bail Friday afternoon.
Civic body polls on February 1, 2017
Amidst opposition from various Naga civil society orgaisations, the Nagaland Government has directed the State Election Commission to hold the general election to constitute the municipal and town councils in the state with 33% reservation of seats for women on February 1, 2017.
CM breaks silence over NFSA rice issue
Breaking his silence over the alleged siphoning of rice meant for beneficiaries under National Food Security Act, Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Tuesday said a misconception seems to have been implanted in the minds of the public that departmental supply of rice can/should only be in jute bags.
HC quashes impugned Cabinet resolution on State Vigilance Commission
The Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court has set aside and quashed the impugned Cabinet resolution dated 8/6/2016 in favour of the PIL filed by Nagaland Tribes Council for restoration of legal powers and jurisdiction of the State Vigilance Commission.
Rongmei issue: Naga Hoho withdraws letter to govt
The Naga Hoho has decided to withdraw its letter to the State Government concerning the issue of recognition to the Rongmei community as an indigenous tribe of Nagaland.
Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016
Amid heated debates on the issue of reservation to urban local bodies in the newspapers, the Nagaland government introduced the Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Assembly and also moved to revoke the Assembly Resolution of September 22, 2012 regarding the 33% women reservation in municipalities.

By EMN Updated: Dec 31, 2016 12:46:25 am