State

GoI-ENPO ‘political level talks’ likely

Spl. Correspondent/Correspondent KOHIMA/NEW DELHI, AUG 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/13/2019 11:57:51 AM IST

The Government of India (GoI) on Tuesday, reportedly assured a four-member delegation of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) that it would hold a “political level talks” with them to look in to their demand.

According to ENPO sources, the assurance was made at the August 13 meeting in New Delhi after the Centre extended a formal invitation to ENPO on the issue of demand for a separate state (Frontier Nagaland).

When contacted, ENPO sources informed Nagaland Post that Tuesday’s formal meeting between Home ministry officials and ENPO delegation was “very fruitful”.

The sources also disclosed that the Centre, as assured, was likely to hold a the “political level talks” after the August 15, Independence Day celebration. ENPO representatives said they were looking forward to the forthcoming meeting.

It may also be recalled, that ENPO had threatened to impose non-participation in the August 15 Independence day celebrations in all the four districts in view of the failure of the government of India failed to accede to the demand on or before August 10,2019. 

The Centre responded by inviting ENPO representatives for talks in New Delhi on August 13. The meeting on Tuesday was considered to be a breakthrough to the longstanding demand for a separate state comprising of four districts-- Tuensang, Mon, Longleng and Kiphire. 

It may be recalled that ENPO submitted its first memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister in 2010 through the Union Home minister, demanding creation of ‘Frontier Nagaland’. 

In response to strong demands for statehood by ENPO, the state cabinet on July 23, 2011 decided to recommend to the government of India for creation of an autonomous council under the sixth schedule of the constitution of India for areas under Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire districts. 

However, ENPO which is spearheading the statehood demand rejected the offer. ENPO, the apex body of the Konyak, Chang, Sangtam, Khiamniungan, Yimchunger and Phom tribes, has been discussing the demand with the Centre since many years. ENPO organised several rallies throughout the four districts in reiteration of its resolution on August 24,2012 for   a separate State- ‘Frontier Nagaland’.

In response, Home ministry, through the joint secretary MHA (NE) had proposed suitable district-wise project proposals for the development of eastern Nagaland, in a letter addressed to the state chief secretary vide the letter (F.No.9/8/2012.7, dated 07.08.2018).  However, ENPO rejected outright the proposal.

Then in 2016, at a public rally in Tuensang, the joint secretary MHA(NE)   described the demand of ENPO as appearing genuine, while observing that problem and hardship faced in the Eastern Nagaland was well understood as the backwardness was visible even after 60 of Nagaland statehood. 

The four districts send a total of 20 MLAs to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly from Tuensang-5; Mon-9; Longleng-2 and Kiphire-4. When the Naga Hills Tuensang Area was separated from North East Frontier Agency (Assam) to form the state of Nagaland in 1963, Tuensang was given special status. For ten years, it would not send legislators to the Nagaland Assembly and instead have its own regional commission.

 In 1973, the region became just another part of the state without any special provision and was subsequently divided into the districts of Mon, Longleng, Kiphire and Tuensang.

Meanwhile, in order to discuss about projects relating to development of Eastern Nagaland, the chief secretary has called for meeting of all administrative heads and heads of nine departments on August 14 at the chief secretary’s conference hall at 10 a.m.

As per the meeting circular, AHoDs and HoDs of Work and Housing, Health & Family Welfare, School Education, Higher &Technical Education, PHED, Tourism, Agriculture Production Commissioner and Allied HoDs, Power and DUDA have been asked to attend the meeting.

 

-Tags:#GoI-ENPO

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