In Mon, people from all walks of life, young and old, from towns and villages and even from Myanmar gathered at Local Ground, Mon town, holding banners and placards, some of which read “We are excluded in all front”, “Too little too late ‘except frontier Nagaland’”, “give us what is due to us”, “we are not demanding what is not ours, we are demanding what is right to us” etc.
Addressing the mammoth gathering, Ministry of Home joint secretary (in charge of North East), Satyendra Garg, who was here on the invitation of ENPO, said he was surprised to see the Tizit-Mon road condition. He said “travelling from Tizit to Mon is revealing about the basic infrastructure deficiency of the Eastern Nagaland” and expressed pain and sympathy with the people of the area.
Garg said he was informed that the said road was handed over to the Centre since April 2016. In this regard, Garg assured that he would talk with the concerned authorities at the Centre for the improvement of the road from Tizit to Longwa.
He said ENPO has dynamic and persistent leaders, adding that due to which he was compelled to continuously meet them in the past year and make this visit to get the first-hand knowledge on the situation of the ENPO area.
Garg said he has seen, heard and understood the aspiration of the people of ENPO that the area has lesser resource and people of the area, scattered by border demarcation, have the feeling of being discriminated.
He assured that the centre was aware of the problem and would do whatever was possible to resolve and ensure that the people get their rightful due. “Everybody has the right to develop to the best of his/her capacity”, he added.
Speaking on behalf of Konyak and Phom community, various speakers highlighted the historical background of the merger of present ENPO Area with the Union of the Republic of India. They reminded that the people of the area had joined the Indian Union in good faith and with the hope that the Area will be developed.
However, they lamented that even after more than 50 years of merger, the area was lagging behind in every aspect. The speakers accused the state government of giving step motherly treatment to the people of the area.
Despite having representatives in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, some of the speakers alleged that those representatives were helpless and were like handicapped as there were no ENPO bureaucrats to guide them. They went on to allege that some bureaucrats even mislead the representatives of ENPO area.
One of the speakers, a 93-year-old man, Meiwang Konyak (retired DB), who is one of the oldest men in the district, became emotional when he expressed his desire to see the achievement of Frontier Nagaland before he die.
Also, speaking at the rally, ENPO advisor, Toshi Wangtun, said “while the sun has risen to mid-noon, to see the light of freedom, liberty and development” for the rest of the countrymen, in Eastern Nagaland the people were yet to see the freedom and development; freedom from oppression, suppression and denial. “We are yet to see freedom from poverty, political oppression thread and insecurity,” he added.
Wangtun said having no hope and no future at this pace, the ENPO, with all seriousness and sincerity, had therefore taken this extreme step of demanding separate statehood.
Some of the speakers also warned that the people would continue to fight and demand for separate statehood and could even create “constitutional crisis” until the demand for ‘Frontier Nagaland’ was met.
An ‘aspiration letter’ was also submitted to the Prime Minister of India by a class seven student, Yajong Konyak, on behalf of the children and student community of ENPO.
Garg, was accompanied by IGAR (N) and joint director SIB.
Tuensang: Satyendra Grag also addressed a public meeting at Tuensang Parade Ground, organized by Eastern Nagaland Public Organization (ENPO).
He said Government of India was well aware of the statehood demand issue taken up by the ENPO.
Garg said he also acknowledged the problems and hardship faced by the people of Eastern Nagaland and was optimistic to usher in solution to these issues.
“The are genuine and the backwardness is visible and questionable. 60 years have passed and the discrimination still continues,” he added.
He informed the gathering that the third round of bilateral talks between government of India and ENPO would be held within this year.
The presidents of CKS, KTC, STC, YTC, Eastern Nagaland Gaon Butamong Unions who spoke on the occasion shared their views on ‘Frontier Nagaland’ statehood demand and reaffirmed their stand based on the earlier memorandum.
The leaders urged upon government of India to pursue the matter at the earliest.
CCSU president, T. Imti Choba delivered the welcome address while president Chang Women Organization, W. Anti chaired the programme. Khiamniungan Cultural Troupes accorded a traditional welcome to guests.
Garg later interacted with the public, where several questions with regard to statehood demand and problems were answered.
Source: Nagaland Post