Nagas rally against creation of 7 new districts
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 15 2016: Nagas staged protest rallies today in the 'four Naga districts' in Manipur to register their rejection of the creation of 7 new districts by the Manipur Government.

The rallies were organised under the banner of the United Naga Council (UNC).

The rallies concluded with the submission of memoranda to the Governor of Manipur through their respective Deputy Commissioners.

At Senapati, the rally was well responded by the people at the headquarters followed by a public meeting at Traffic Point Senapati.

The event was led by leaders of Naga People's Organisation (NPO), SDWA, SDSA, Mao Council, Maram Council, Poumai Naga Union, Thagal Union, Zeliangrong Union (Senapati Zone). Addressing the mammoth gathering, former UNC president KS Paul Leo said that the economic blockade on National Highways and ban on construction works on National projects were launched by the Naga people from November 1, 2016 in protest against the preparation of the Government of Manipur to bifurcate Nagas' ancestral lands through declaration of Sadar Hills and Jiribam as full-fledged districts on the pretext of administrative convenience and development needs.

KS Paul Leo stated that for the Naga people, the land and people are inseparable.

Nagas rally against creation of 7 new districts
Nagas rally against creation of 7 new districts

At Tamei headquarters in Tamenglong district, the rally was held under the aegis of the Liangmai Naga Council (LNC).

A large number of Liangmai people walked for several kilometres before pledging to endorse the declaration of the UNC consultative meeting of December 12, 2016.The rally at Tamei also resolved that the Liangmai people "will not be part of the new districts of Kangpokpi and Jiribam".

Another resolution said that 'all the Liangmai ancestral territories' should come under a single 'administrative district' .

A large number of people also turned out at Chandel district headquarters to participate in the rally.

The Chandel Naga People's Organisation (CNPO) led the rally.

Similar good response was also witnessed at Ukhrul.

The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) leaders arranged the rally where several leaders spoke on the occasion.

In Tamenglong district headquarters, the Zeliangrong Baudi organised the rally.

Having rallied together in protest on this day, a memorandum each was submitted to the Governor of Manipur through the respective Deputy Commissioners.

In the memorandum, the UNC urged the Manipur Governor to intervene to ensure that Nagas and their ancestral land are not "sliced off and tagged" onto the new districts as minorities.

The memorandum also said that the ongoing Indo-Naga dialogue and 'Framework Agreement' are for a settlement, and that, "it would go against this very spirit to allow the Government of Manipur to vitiate the environment for a peaceful settlement".

The intensifying "communal design" of the Government of Manipur must not be allowed to ignite the explosive situation, the UNC memorandum stated.

"We urge you, Madam Governor, therefore, to recommend immediate imposition of President's Rule in the State of Manipur to ensure the protection of democratic rights of the Nagas and to contain the explosive situation" .

The UNC further urged the Governor to release Gaidon Kamei, president, UNC and SK Stephen, information and publicity secretary, UNC unconditionally.

"As the Central Government's representative in the State and grounded in the reality of the State, we urge you to impress upon the Central Government to expedite the settlement of the Indo-Naga issue to pre-empt the Government of Manipur from further fragmentation of the ancestral land and the further deprivation of rights and opportunities of the Naga people," it added. The UNC memorandum then explained the reasons for the economic blockade on National Highways and ban on construction works on National projects.

The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC) today held a mammoth rally at Ukhrul town in protest against the creation of 7 new districts by the Ibobi led State Government and demanded immediate unconditional release of UNC leaders Gaidon Kamei and SK Stephen, who are in custody.

The rallyists also burnt the effigy of CM Ibobi and the order which declared the creation of the seven new districts.

The rally began from two points-Dungrei junction and Kasomtang, Ukhrul and later converged at TNL ground, Wino Bazar, Ukhrul for a public meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, chairman of Tangkhul Naga Aze Longphang (TNAL) NS Varemi strongly opposed the decision of the State Government to bifurcate Ukhrul district and carve out Kamjong district.

This is nothing short of dividing the Tangkhul community, he said and added that the people of the district were not at all consulted before the Kamjong district was created.

TNAL cannot accept such a divisive policy of the State Government to divide the Nagas, particularly the Tangkhuls in their own homeland, he declared.

Former president of TNL Stephen Angkang enlightened the people on the political movement and struggle of the the Naga peolple and added 'we have made great strides.' He also urged the valley brethren to discard their chauvinistic mindset.

A memorandum jointly signed by all presidents of Tangkhul Frontal Organizations (Tangkhul Naga Long, TNL, Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long, TNWL, Tangkhul Shanao Long, TSL, Tangkhul Katamnao Long, TKS and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long TMNL) seeking the immediate intervention of the Governor and to impose President's Rule in the State was also submitted.

The other points in the memorandum included ensuring protection and safeguarding the ancestral land of the Nagas so that they are not sliced off and tagged on to new districts to make Nagas minorities in their own land. The intensifying communal design of the Government of Manipur must not be allowed to ignite the explosive situation, said the memorandum and sought protection of democratic rights of the Nagas.

A separate TNL declaration was also read out by TNL vice president P Peimi before the gathering.

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