Clamour for frontier Nagaland resurfaces

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DIMAPUR, March 5 (NNN): Call it the Telangana effect, the people of Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire and Longleng districts of Nagaland have renewed its earlier demand to bifurcate Nagaland to form a separate state christened as `Frontier Nagaland`.

Under the banner of the Eastern Nagaland People`s Organisation (ENPO), the people of these four eastern districts of Nagaland resolved to concertedly resume its movement for the creation of `Frontier Nagaland,` a new state to be formed after carving out of present Nagaland. ENPO wants that the four districts–Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng–be carved out from existing Nagaland State for the `Frontier Nagaland.`

It can be recalled here that, after choosing to remain mute, the tempo of the demand for the creation of `Frontier Nagaland by the Eastern Nagaland People`s Organisation (ENPO) had re-emerged with a new vigour last July.

Holding rallies in the four districts of Kiphire, Tuensang, Mon and Longleng, the ENPO leaders demanded that the government of India immediately starts the dialogue on the `Frontier Nagaland` state creation by carving out the four districts from Nagaland state.

ENPO had rejected special economic package of Rs. 300 crore for eastern Nagaland by the government last year.

The ENPO`s demand for the creation of `Frontier Nagaland` was peaked in the year 2011 accusing the successive Nagaland governments of meting out step-motherly treatments to the four eastern districts of Nagaland.

Three years ago, Nagas in four Nagaland districts had carried out massive public rallies demanding the creation of a new state christened as `Frontier Nagaland` by bifurcating Nagaland.

The ENPO, which is the apex organization of six Naga tribes including Konyak, Khiamniungan, Chang, Yimchunger, Sangtam and Phom inhabiting the four districts, had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister urging him to realize the demand.

“Our demand for the creation of Frontier Nagaland is based on historical facts. This is something like going back to the earlier arrangement when the entire area was under the erstwhile Tuensang Frontier Division of NEFA,” ENPO stated.

Prior to Nagaland’s attainment of statehood in 1963, the entire area was under the Tuensang Frontier Division of NEFA. Mon, Kiphire and Longleng districts were carved out of Tuensang post-statehood.

According to ENPO, for decades, gross injustice has been done to the people of these four districts by the successive governments, both in the state and at the centre.

Of the 11 districts in Nagaland, these four backward districts have almost half of the state’s total population. But despite that, they continue to remain extremely under-developed, the ENPO leaders lamented.

“It is a democratic and people’s movement based on fundamental issues. The people in the four districts have their wholehearted support to it,” an ENPO leader had said.

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