Tribute To The Naga Martyrs’ By Gen. (Retd.) Viyalie Metha, Kedahge, Federal Government Of Nagaland On The 72nd Martyrs’ Day At The Martyred Zasibito Nagi’s Graveyard, Jotsoma Village, Angami Region, 18th October, 2023. - Eastern Mirror
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Op-Ed

Tribute to the Naga Martyrs’ by Gen. (Retd.) Viyalie Metha, Kedahge, Federal Government of Nagaland on the 72nd Martyrs’ Day at the Martyred Zasibito Nagi’s Graveyard, Jotsoma Village, Angami Region, 18th October, 2023.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 19, 2023 12:22 am

Dear Countrymen,

I thank the Almighty God for sustaining Naga people throughout the past 71 years up to this day. I also thank all the Central Authorities of the NNC and FGN, the Angami Regional Authorities of NNC/FGN, Jotsoma Villagers, relatives of Zasibito Nagi and relatives of all other Martyrs and well-wishers who are present here today to pay your respect to the patriots of our Nation on this honourable occasion.

We observe this 72nd Martyrs day, the 18th October, 2023 in honour and remembrance of Mr. Zasibito Nagi and all other Naga patriots. This day is observed throughout Nagaland at the same time i.e. at 10:00 a.m.

On this occasion I would like to recall some of the terrible past events that happened to our people in the past years upon National workers and Naga public, crimes and atrocities committed by Indian Armed Forces. Among many crimes committed by the Indian Armed Forces on the Nagas all over Nagaland here are a few cases that I would like to highlight briefly on this occasion:   

1.            The first Naga Martyr, Mr. Zasibito Nagi of Jotsoma Village, a Judge of the Kohima Central Court on this day the 18th October, 1952. Where our people took up a peaceful silent procession in protest against misbehaviours of Indian armed forces in our land, where a provocative Indian Intelligence officer Capt. Verick arrogantly rode his motorcycle into the crowd of procession and knocked down a woman creating disturbance in the procession. Then the peace rally protestors rushed toward Capt. Verick, the Indian Intelligence Officer and were about to beat him while Mr. Zasibito Nagi was trying to stop the public not to harm Capt. Verick, in the process Zasibito was shot by the Police officer named Mr. S. Dutt. Thus, Zasibito Nagi became the first Martyr for Nagaland. That peaceful rally was undertaken by the Naga public to protest against the torture of a young Sema boy inside the lockup in Dimapur by Assam Armed Police. And after this event, the Assam Armed Police and the Assam Rifles unleashed the reign of terror all over Nagaland. This was followed by the Indian Army marching into Nagaland in 1954 and started a reign of mass murder, rape and burning of Naga Villages. Thus the whole Naga nation then rose up to defend our land from foreign occupation and continue defending till today.

2.            Fifty three villagers of Yengpang Village in Chang Region were massacred by the Indian Armed Force on 15th November, 1954.

3.            Thirteen villagers of Ketsapomi Village in Chakhesang Region were rounded up, five were shot to death as  “TARGET PRACTICE” by Indian Army on April 15, 1956, eight taken away and never heard of again.

4.            Seven villagers of Longpha Village in Ao Region were massacred by the Indian Armed Force in the Village Community Hall on June 6, 1956.

5.            Five Settsü Villagers in Ao Region were massacred on May 20, 1956. They were tied to posts, wrist to wrist, hands stretched in crucifix fashion, and shot death at the junction of two roads, six miles from Mokokchung town.

6.            Nine villagers of Matikhrü in Pochury Region were beheaded and dumped their bodies inside the village chief’s house and burnt them together with the house on September 6, 1960.

On this solemn occasion let us observe with reverence and gratitude because they have sacrificed their lives for the bright future of our people. Many national workers were shot dead, tortured to death and permanently maimed because of the severe torture. Yet Naga people did not dishearten rather come together and defended our land by sacrificing our lives and our all till today and shall continue to defend it in the days to come. 

The Naga National Council (NNC) and the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) are defending the inalienable rights of the Naga people and will continue to protect and defend the Naga National rights. The Federal Government of Nagaland assures that our friends who had laid down their lives for our Nation will not go in vain but it will remain alive in the history of our Nation and engraved in our hearts. As their death testified the indescribable love for our country, Nagaland. 

In conclusion, I call upon all the right thinking Naga people particularly the younger generation to come forward and stand together for the right cause of the nation and march together until the national objective is achieved.

May God bless Nagaland.

Kuknalim.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 19, 2023 12:22:33 am
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