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Separate Statehood Demand In Insurgency-Hit Nagaland

Map of Nagaland with area demanded by ENPO.

NEW DELHI, Dec 26: Six major tribal groups in insurgency-hit Nagaland have now come together to demand carving out of a separate state.

The demand for “Frontier Nagaland” was raised by Chang, Konyak, Sangtam, Khiamniungan, Yimchungru and Phom communities under the aegis Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO).

The demand is considered to be a setback for the outfits like NSCN (IM), which is now engaged in peace negotiations with the government after leading a six-decade-long bloody insurgency movement.

The NSCN (IM)’s key demand is unification of all Naga inhabited areas comprising entire Nagaland and some areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

An ENPO delegation recently met Home Minister P Chidambaram and Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai here and placed their demand for the separate state comprising Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire and Mon districts as well as three sub divisions of two other districts. The region has about half of Nagaland’s population – 9 lakh – and geographical area.

The ENPO also sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to press their demand.

“The delegation said that it has become impossible for them to continue as part of present-day Nagaland because there is no development in the region and their hopes and aspirations could not be fulfilled in the present state,” a home ministry official said.

The ENPO has been demanding ‘Frontier Nagaland’ “within the Constitution of India”.

Nagaland has 11 districts – Kohima, Dimapur, Mokokchung, Zunheboto, Wokha, Tuensang, Phek, Mon, Peren, Kephire, and Longleng. It has a population of nearly 20 lakh.

*Source: Press Trust of India

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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