PC invites Rio to discuss separate State demand

Kohima, June 3 (PTI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will hold discussions with Chief Minister Nephiu Rio in New Delhi on Sunday on the demand for a separate ‘Frontier Nagaland’ comprising four border districts of the state by Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO). Chidambaram has invited the chief minister as well as leaders of ENPO to discuss the separate state demand tomorrow morning, Nagaland Home Minister Imkong Imchen told a news agency.

Imkong, who is in Delhi, along with other senior ministers from eastern part of Nagaland will also accompany the chief minister during the meeting. The ENPO, which has been demanding ‘Frontier Nagaland’ carving out four border districts of Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng, reiterated its demand when Union Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh visited Mon last week where he met leaders of tribal councils, civil society organizations and civil administration and Assam Rifles officials.

The ENPO had submitted a memorandum before the prime minister in 2010 in support of its demand, asserting that only a separate state for six tribes, inhabiting the frontier areas, would bring about socio-economic development in the border region. When the Centre had asked the state government to give its view on the memorandum, the Neiphiu Rio government opposing further division of Nagaland recommended for an autonomous council, devoluting maximum possible legislative, financial and administrative powers to the people of the backward eastern part of Nagaland. Appealing to the ENPO to reconsider its demand, Nagaland government also appointed last year two high-power committees to recommend to the government short and long term measures.

However, ENPO rejected the recommendations and intensified its demand for ‘Frontier Nagaland.’ During the last budget session of Nagaland assembly, the members cutting across party lines agreed that the successive governments in the state failed to bring the border districts at par with other parts of the state and urged the government to initiate all possible measures to address the grievances of backwardness in those areas.
However, the members opposed division of the state and called upon the ENPO to reconsider its demand for larger interest of the Naga people. Various survey and study reports conducted during the past decade showed poor human development indices (HDI) in the border districts.


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