Early Resolution of Naga Political Issue Key Agenda

The state government and the civil societies have been pressuring the Centre to expedite the Naga peace process and bring it to a logical conclusion.

Published: 18th December 2014 01:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2014 04:44 PM   |  A+A-


KOHIMA: Early resolution of the decades-old political issue continued to be the key agenda for 2014 in Nagaland, which also saw a mass movement against corruption, unabated taxation and border dispute with Assam.

Continuing its efforts towards peace and re-conciliation, Forum for Naga Re-conciliation (FNR) along with other civil society groups and churches tried to bring various Naga underground factions closer and got the support of the state government and political parties in its bid.

The state government and the civil societies have been pressuring the Centre to expedite the Naga peace process and bring it to a logical conclusion.

Border tension between Assam and Nagaland claimed at least five lives. The United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA) raised a demand that recognised villages in the state along the Assam-Nagaland border be protected and that Naga settlements not be allowed to be disturbed by outsiders.

UNTABA has been working towards protecting the interests of all Nagas sharing boundary with Assam.

The year began on a tragic note with the recovery of nine highly-decomposed bodies from a gorge in the Pachaspura area of Dimapur district. The bodies were later identified to be that of Karbi people from Assam who were blindfolded with hands tied and shot from close range.

Election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland saw the then Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (Naga People's Front) defeating K V Pusa of Congress. T R Zeliang succeeded Rio.

The dropping of five senior ministers from the new cabinet led to deepening of differences within the NPF MLAs to the extent that miscreants hurled bomb at the NPF office in Mokokchung division.

However, the NPF-led DAN government under Zeliang continues to remain in power despite rumours of a split within the leadership for a change of guard.

June saw a major political development with three NCP MLAs - party president Imtilemba Sangtam, Parliamentary Secretary T M Lotha and Mmhonlumo Kikon - claiming to have merged with BJP. However, their claim was rejected by Nagaland Legislative Assembly Speaker Chotisuh Sazo under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution leading to their disqualification from the 60-member House.

The trio took the matter to court and have managed to get a stay against the Speaker's decision. The matter is still pending in court.

Padmanabhai Balakrishna Acharya became the new governor of Nagaland on July 19.

Employees under various CSS schemes such as NRHM, SSA and ANEFWA and Hindi teachers staged agitations over the non- release of salaries by the government for months together.

Irked by unabated taxation by various underground groups and government departments, a public movement initiated under the banner Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) gained momentum. ACAUT held public rallies in all the district headquarters and marked the conclusion with observation of the first anniversary in Kohima district.

It received immense support from the general public as well as various Naga civil society groups.

Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) continued with its demand for separate statehood for the four most backward areas of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire districts.

Congress alleged siphoning off of huge amounts by Minister for Agriculture Benjongliba when he was the Director of Horticulture before contesting the 2013 state elections. It has demanded his removal from his present post and constitution of a free and fair investigation into the matter.

The state government, reeling under a huge deficit of over Rs 1,500 crore, approached the Centre for bailing it out and also sought enhancement in the state Plan allocation and special economic package to improve its financial position.

The state government, tribal Hohos, NGOs and civil society groups also resolved to set up a committee to review the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989.

Having been declared as the capital of Amur Falcons in 2013, the state continued with its efforts to protect the migratory birds, especially in Pangti village of Wokha district.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan graced the golden jubilee celebration of Nagaland Legislative Assembly, heralding the joyful festive season for the state.

Known as the 'Land of Festivals', Nagaland's festival circuit culminated with the coming together of all 17 major Naga tribes at the Hornbill Festival at Kisama Naga Heritage village near here from December 1 to 10.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the festivities coinciding with the 51st Statehood Day celebration. This was the first prime ministerial visit to the Hornbill festival in 15 years.

The state saw a live performance by legendary British band Smokie during the Hornbill Music which also had UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore judging the International Hornbill Rock Contest.


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