Walkathon for Frontier Nagaland statehood ends peacefully - Eastern Mirror
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Walkathon for Frontier Nagaland statehood ends peacefully

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Oct 07, 2022 9:50 pm

Our Correspondent/ Reporter
Tuensang/ Dimapur, Oct. 7 (EMN):
The public walkathon called by the Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation (ENSF) in all the administrative and district headquarters in eastern Nagaland ended peacefully on Friday with thousands of people in traditional attire hitting the streets at the designated locations in the region, holding placards and chanting slogans to mark the first phase of agitation for Frontier Nagaland statehood.

In Tuensang, hundreds of people from various parts of the district converged at the parade ground to participate in the walkathon organised by the ENSF and initiated by Chang Wetoshi Setshang.

Speaking at the rally, ENSF president Chingmak Kumchuba Chang briefed how the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) started the demand for a separate state in 2010, along with the representatives from all the tribes in the region, and the ENSF signing the agreement in solidarity.

“In this fight, we will need everyone’s contribution,” he told the garthering while thanking them for being part of the initiative.

“I want to remind the government of India that the demand of Frontier Nagaland is a grassroots demand. This is not just decided by the leaders of ENSF or ENPO but this was mandated by the public of all the eastern Nagas,” he said.

‘So far, this is a peaceful process but may be in future, if the GoI delays in taking up our genuine demand, this might become a revolution,’ he added.

Short speeches were also delivered by leaders of various student bodies from Tuensang — TVSU, SSUTT, KSUTT, YSUTT and TSUTT – as well as ENPO and Chang Khulei Setshang.

Second phase of agitation

The ENSF president told Eastern Mirror that the second phase of agitation will depend on the outcome of the meeting called by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the ENPO.

Although the date of meeting has not been scheduled, Shah has extended a meeting and the second phase of agitation will depend on its outcome, he said, adding that its call for abstaining from the upcoming state assembly election will stand in the absence of a fruitful result.

Memorandum to PM

Meanwhile, the seven tribal federating units of ENSF — Chang Wedoshi Setshang, Konyak Students’ Union, Khiamniungan Students’ Union, Phom Students’ Conference, Tikhir Students’ Union, United Sangtam Students’ Conference, and Yimkhiung Akherü Arihako — on Friday submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the district deputy commissioners of the area, demanding a separate state. 

The memorandum stated that eastern Nagaland, comprising Tuensang, Mon, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator districts bordering Myanmar, measures 8154 sq.km in area and constitutes approximately 48% of the total population of Nagaland. Dubbing as the “remotest region in the country”, it said successive Nagaland governments had neglected the area for the past 59 years since the attainment of statehood in 1963.

“The region has been deprived from basic necessities of life such as education, health services and economy, which is no doubt a direct threat to the security of the Nation,” read the memorandum.

“The people of Eastern Nagaland have faced ineffable discrimination in the hands of the biased and prejudice leaders since time immemorial. The understandings vouched between the entities were never implemented in letter and in spirit. Even after 59 years of existence of the state, the eastern region still remains as one of the most neglected area in every aspect of social and economic life and the jurisprudence of Article 371 A of the Constitution of India is highly challenged,” it added.

It stated that in the larger interest of the public of eastern Nagaland and to protect the rights of its people, the union will remain constituent and steadfast in the pursuit of Frontier Nagaland statehood demand till the aspiration is materialised.

It further implored upon the GoI under the prime minister to “immediately and proactively look into the long cherished dream of the people of Eastern Nagaland over the legitimate demand for Frontier Nagaland/statehood demand of people living in the Myanmar border of India”.

The ENPO’s memorandum dated Nov. 25, 2010, submitted to the prime minister of India, demanding “separate state for Eastern Nagaland under special provision and status”, was also attached with the ENSF memorandum on Friday.

The ENPO’s memo which focused on socio-economic condition, human resources development, and political deprivation reiterated that the “yearly assembly allocation is comparatively very negligible in real terms of the actual allocations and implementations in contrary to the projected figures and proposals in the papers shown before the Central Government. All the development establishments and major projects are headquartered and positioned in the forward and comparatively much more privileged and developed districts, where the fund-flow pattern and the allocations follow the same pattern. Thus, the Eastern Nagaland areas in the state receives the last and least of priorities in the all round development especially road communications and other vital infrastructural developments”.

It further conveyed that “the representation of the people in govt. service sector is hardly in the range of 3% inclusive of all categories and hence not in a position to have any say particularly in policy-makings, proposals and implementations”.

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Oct 07, 2022 9:50:27 pm