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India at 75 | Nagaland wants early, acceptable solution to Naga political problem: CM Rio

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. File

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday expressed hope for a solution to the Naga political problem, inter-State boundary issues, and removal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the entire State.

Addressing people on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence and the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration in the State capital, the Chief Minister said the Naga people want an “early, inclusive, honourable and acceptable solution” to the Naga political problem.

“The elected representatives have been actively facilitating and urging the negotiating parties to realise the long-standing dream of our people without any delay,” he said.

All the elected representatives, representing the people of Nagaland, have also come together and stated in clear terms that they will “make way” once the solution is reached, the Chief Minister said.

He appealed to the people to be patient and accommodating and urged the negotiators to listen to the voice of the people, by rising above all differences for an immediate solution.

The Centre has been holding separate talks with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) since 1997 and the Naga National Political group (NNPG), a conglomerate of Naga groups from 2017.

It signed the Framework Agreement with NSCN(IM) in August 2015 and an Agreed Position with NNPG in November 2017.

However, no final solution has been achieved as the NSCN(IM) has been persistent in its demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Naga people.

On the law and order front, the Chief Minister said due to the sincere efforts of the District Administration, police, security agencies, and civil society organisations in the past few years, peace was prevailing in the State.

“The tranquil atmosphere existing in the state got further vindicated when after many decades 15 police station areas of Nagaland in April were denotified from being disturbed and thus taken out of the purview of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

“We are hopeful that more areas will come out of the ambit of AFSPA soon,” he said.

The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives immunity to the forces if they shoot someone dead.

On inter-State borders, the Chief Minister said the government has always been desirous of resolving the long-standing border dispute with neighbouring States.

The Nagaland Assembly had constituted a “Cabinet Select Committee”, headed by him, to examine the border issue.

The Select Committee, he said, was making efforts to amicably resolve the issue outside the Court.

“We are very hopeful of amicably settling all our disputes when our Nation is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Independence,” he said.

Listing the other achievements of the State, he said as a result of various government interventions, Nagaland has been consistently increasing its food grain production which now stands at 7,38,260 MT.

“Our farmers have successfully adopted horticulture crops such as pineapple, kiwi, passion fruit, and dragon fruit while plantation crops such as coffee and tea have also been successfully grown. These fruits are attracting premium buyers from India and abroad, and we cannot meet the demand,” he said.

To provide inclusive healthcare coverage to the entire population of the State, the government is gearing up to launch the Chief Minister Health Insurance Scheme (CMHIS) on October 2.

In accordance with the National Education Policy, the Department of School Education has been focusing on providing quality education to all students including those in the remotest parts of the State, he said. On developing sports infrastructure throughout the State, Mr. Rio said that modern indoor stadiums are being set up at various places.

The Chief Minister also pointed out that the State needs to attract investments across sectors to grow much faster and create more employment opportunities for youths.

“We need to continuously build our capacities, especially the capacities and skills of our youth, to enable their inherent talent to blossom, in order to benefit and also contribute towards faster economic growth,” he said.

For achieving the goal, Mr. Rio called upon every citizen to work for making Nagaland one of the most developed and progressive State in the country.

Recalling the role of freedom fighters, the Chief Minister said “India achieved independence after a long struggle, and on this historic occasion, we again remember with the utmost gratitude the freedom fighters, who gave their all, many even laying down their lives, to get freedom for all of us”.

Noting that Nagaland, along with the rest of the country, has made good progress, he said ever since the State was formed in 1963, successive governments have contributed to development efforts.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 7:21:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/india-at-75-nagaland-wants-early-acceptable-solution-to-naga-political-problem-cm-rio/article65772129.ece