Tribal body steps up demand for Nagaland’s bifurcation

Three of the four districts concerned share a border with Myanmar. So, they are strategically important for India.

Published: 23rd September 2018 10:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2018 10:47 AM   |  A+A-

GUWAHATI: Even as major Naga insurgent groups are holding talks with the Centre for a political solution, an influential tribal organisation in Nagaland has stepped up the demand for the state’s division to create ‘Frontier Nagaland’ state.

The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), the apex tribal body of the Nagas in eastern Nagaland, says the demand stems from “discrimination and negligence” of four eastern Nagaland districts — Kiphire, Mon, Tuensang and Longleng — by state and Central governments.

“It has been over 50 years since Nagaland attained statehood but compared to other districts, our areas are underdeveloped. The Frontier Nagaland demand is for our development and rights. We demand democratic rights under the Constitution of India,” ENPO president Kekongchim told The Sunday Standard.

Three of the four districts concerned to share a border with Myanmar. So, they are strategically important for India.

Justifying the demand, Kekongchim said, “In terms of both area and population, we are nearly half of the state. But our employment ratio is just above seven per cent. Unless we have a separate state and separate funding from the Centre, our areas will not be developed. Recently, we submitted our representation to the Government of India. Let’s see how it responds.”

Claiming that “no equal opportunity was ever given to our people”, he said: “We will keep pressing for the creation of Frontier Nagaland. We will secure this democratically through a peaceful movement.”


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