The Eastern Naga Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) held a public rally in six districts demanding the creation of ‘Frontier Nagaland’.
ENPO, the apex body of seven tribal organizations in Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak and Shamator districts have been demanding for the carving out of a separate state comprising the Eastern Naga territories.
Citing negligence of the eastern areas by the government with regards to development including lack of educational and healthcare facilities, similar public rallies have been organized in the previous years.
Speaking at the rally in Kiphire town, W. Lemba Chang, member ENPO emphasized that the demand for ‘Frontier Nagaland’ began in 2005. Years later, a memorandum was submitted to the Government of India by ENPO on 6th of December, 2010.
Chang further stated that the region is allocated substantial amount for development of the region, particularly under DUDA and Aspirational district however such funds are rarely utilized for such purposes.
Speaking at the rally, Chang further highlighted that ENPO had officially held six rounds of talks with regards to their demands, four bilateral talks with the Government of India and two tripartite talks with the GoI and the Nagaland state government.
As per a submission sent to the Prime Minister of India by the Tribal Unions through the respective Deputy Commissioners of the districts, “the demand is based on popular “Grass-root” “Resolution and mandate” encompassing every Village Council (Gram Panchayats) and Tribal Councils of Eastern Nagaland.”
Chang further mentioned that in 2014 Nitin Gadkari the then BJP National President and present Minister of Road Transport and Highways, had assured that BJP would carve out a separate state of Frontier Nagaland if BJP comes to power in the 2014 elections, a point highlighted in the submission to the Prime Minister.
The rally across headquarters in the region saw a turn up of people in huge numbers across various age groups in their traditional attire shouting slogans, carrying placards and banners demanding for ‘Frontier Nagaland’.
During the rally hours educational institutions, business establishes and offices remained shut in solidarity across the six districts.