Nagaland celebrated the 73rd Republic Day on January 26 with the main event at the New Secretariat Plaza here, where state chief minister Neiphiu Rio addressed the gathering after unfurling the national flag and taking the salute presented by various contingents at the march past.
In his speech, chief minister Neiphiu Rio highlighted measures taken by his government towards creation of new districts, Naga political issue, quest for justice for victims of Oting and Mon killings and repeal of AFSPA.
On creation of new districts, the chief minister said all four districts recently created were to “ensure good governance”. He said Tseminyu district (December 20,2021) was to fulfil the long-standing aspiration and desire of Rengma people for their own district. The chief minister also said Niuland and Chümoukedima districts (both created on December 20,2021) were to give the right historical perspective in resolving the issue regarding the headquarters of erstwhile Dimapur district.
On Shamator district (January 20,2022), he said it was a culmination of efforts made by the Yimkhiung and Tikhir people to resolve their decades-old dispute amicably with recognition of Tikhir as a separate tribe.
On the issue of demands for creation of new districts, the chief minister said his government was not going to divide a single tribe district to create another, in keeping with the government’s motto of unity.
While terming the killings of 14 innocent civilians and injuries to many others at Oting-Tiru and Mon on December 4 and 5, 2021 as “unfortunate”, Rio said his government has taken every measure to ease the pain of the families of the deceased including the injured.
He said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) instituted to probe the incidents, had made good progress while the army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) had also completed its inquiry at fast pace. Rio said the incident once again brought to focus against the potential misuse of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the State as also echoed by the public outcry against its continuation.
The chief minister said the state cabinet had decided to take up immediate repeal of AFSPA 1958, with the government of India and subsequently Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) at its Special Session on December 20, 2021, passed a resolution for repeal of the act from the State.
Rio said the main reason why the AFSPA was imposed in Nagaland was due to Naga insurgency in the 1950s. However, he said after ceasefire with various Naga Political Groups (NPGs) since the last two and a half decades, the law and order situation has improved and that during the period, negotiations were ongoing between the NPGs and the government of India to chalk out a final solution. Further, he said negotiations among the main stakeholders was held in a cordial atmosphere and good understanding for each other’s position and concerns, crucial for overcoming all the differences to arrive at a consensus.
He also reiterated that all legislators under NLA have come together to form an opposition-less government in order to convey the message for an honourable, inclusive and acceptable solution to the negotiating parties. Rio said the party-less government under UDA will continue to facilitate for and be hopeful of an early solution.
The chief minister also said the overall law and order situation in the State for the past year had remained peaceful due to commitment and efforts of the District Administrations, State Police and other Security Agencies to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and for maintaining law and order situation in the State.
On the covid pandemic, Rio said it was still not over yet as the third wave has already begun in many parts of India.
Further, he disclosed that the state Health and Family Welfare department has been ramping up its infrastructure over the last year which included completion of 1,281 oxygen beds and 163 ICU beds including 97 ventilators. Every district had been provided with at least one PSA oxygen generator plant.
He also said the government had also completed construction of a 200 bedded acute care hospital at CISHR and made it operational in record time. Similarly, he said an additional 50-bedded fully equipped ward had been established at District Hospital Dimapur while the police department had also operationalised a fully equipped 100 bedded hospital at Police Referral Hospital, Chümoukedima.
He urged every person above 15 years of age in the State to take the vaccine at the same time follow all the Covid-19 Appropriate Behaviours.
The chief minister also said that as part of its Community Outreach Program, State Police had launched a mobile application “Call Your Cop” which would allow citizens to get in touch with police personnel on duty in an easier manner.
He pointed out that the seizure of 290 gold bars weighing 48.14 Kg and worth over Rs 22.78 crores was the single biggest seizure of smuggled bullion in the State.
He said in its effort towards e-governance and ensuring better monitoring and quality of implementation of ILP regime, the state government launched the online ILP module for all the categories of ILP on December 16, 2021.
Rio highlighted that department of School Education had commenced implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 in a phased manner and had made appreciable progress.
Meanwhile, in an unusual incident during the Republic Day celebration at New Secretariat Plaza, a police personnel on static security below the podium was seen going down and collapsed on the ground.
The incident happened just as the chief minister Neiphiu Rio was reading out his Republic Day speech behind the walled podium.
Some attendees were seen walking to find out what happened and later helped the personnel being taken for medical aid.