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Naga Integration Rings Out Loud At Senapati

As the cavalcade from Nagaland enter Manipur, State cops reduced to mere spectators. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 28: Not-withstanding the air of misgiving and tension, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has opened the Manipur State unit of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) at Senapati district head-quarters today.

Speaking at the formal launching function of the NPF Manipur unit which was attended by around 2500 people, Neiphiu Rio reiterated that all contiguous Naga inhabited areas should be brought under a single administrative roof.

Neiphiu Rio and his team which comprised of his Council of Ministers, MLAs, the Lok Sabha MP from Nagaland, NPF president and other leaders were accorded a warm reception by people clad in traditional costumes and waving NPF flags.

However, Chief Minister Neiphiu had a separate meeting with the Senapati DC and the SP before entering the venue of the main function.

Speaking at the occasion, Neiphiu Rio said that they were coming there for peace, not for war.

Appreciating the warm response shown by the gathering, Neiphiu conveyed gratitude to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and particularly Home Minister P Chidambaram for allowing his team to come to Senapati.

“On being informed about my tour program to Senapati, the Government of Manipur  replied that it would not be conducive for me and my team to visit Senapati in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the district”, the Nagaland Chief Minister said.

He said that he talked with the Union Home Minister and the Home Secretary informing them that the NPF team’s visit would be peaceful and that they would return back promptly after declaring the party’s policies and programs.

“I also wrote a letter to Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi yesterday explaining that we are coming to open a unit of the party and that they have no intention to create any problem”, Neiphiu Rio said.

He said that they were informed by the Government of Manipur that they may enter Manipur when they reached Zakhama this morning.

“The Senapati DC and the SP were conveyed about the Home Ministry’s request to me to leave Senapati as early as possible”, he said.

A political issue which has been recognized by the British as well as by the Constitution of India is still lingering for Nagas.

The real integration of Nagas can be achieved only when the Nagas are united emotionally, politically, socially and culturally.

A large population of Naga people are now scattered in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.

Neiphiu once again called for integration of Naga inhabited area within a single administrative unit.

Stating that the Nagaland State Assembly has adopted resolutions for integration of Naga inhabited areas four times; Neiphiu Rio underscored the need for Naga people to stand united on this issue.

During monarchy or under dictatorship, the concept of ‘might is right’ was applicable but what is applicable now is ‘right is might’.

He went on to claim that they did not work against anybody.

In his speech, NPF president Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu claimed that their party is the oldest party in the North East region and one among the oldest in India.

Earlier, the party was called Nagaland People’s Party. But now its name has been changed to Naga People’s Front along with amendment of its constitution.

As a fruit of the long years of labor put in by Naga brethren of Manipur, NPF Manipur State unit has been opened, Dr Shurhozelie said while reminding that the party’s Arunachal Pradesh unit was opened earlier.

However, many people who wanted to fight Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections under NPF ticket were dejected as the party could not obtain approval from the election commission in time, he said.

The campaign for integration of Naga inhabited areas under single administrative roof is given a prominent place in the party’s policies and programs, the NPF president stated.

“This may sound allergic to some actions but it is our birth right to struggle for integration”, he asserted.

Later, he hoisted the NPF flag and formally announced the opening of Manipur State unit. Nagaland Lok Sabha MP CM Chang, Minister TR Zeliang, the Deputy Speaker, MLAs and NPF leaders were also present at the function as presidium members.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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