Demand For Separate State By People Of Eastern Nagaland Not Wrong: CM

According to Neiphiu Rio, chief minister of Nagaland, the eastern residents' demand for a separate state is "not wrong".

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday said the demand for a separate state by the people of the eastern part of the state is "not wrong".

Eastern Nagaland comprises six districts — Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak, and Shamator – which are inhabited by seven tribes of Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Sangtam, Tikhir, and Yimkhiung.

“Nagas, we speak our mind and it is not wrong for them (Eastern Nagaland people) to say what their thinking and desire is but all these issues will be resolved," Rio said.

During a function here, the CM was asked by reporters that Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) has decided not to participate in the ensuing Hornbill Festival and also asked 20 legislators from the region to resign in support of their demand for a separate state.

“We are talking with them and will give an appointment to ENPO during the union home minister’s (proposed) visit to the state. If the prime minister also comes, we will request him to have a talk with them," Rio said.

The clamour for the separate state in eastern Nagaland has gained momentum ahead of the assembly polls due early next year, with the 20 MLAs from the region extending support to a call not to take part in any election until the demand is met.

The CM, however, said that the state government is yet to receive any final schedule for the proposed visit of the home minister or the PM.

On ENPO's decision not to participate in Hornbill Festival, Rio said it will be held as usual and every tribe should take part.

“It is a responsibility of the state, and one cannot dishonour the state but all have to take responsibility to make it successful,” Rio said.

The ENPO has been demanding 'Frontier Nagaland' since 2010, alleging "negligence" by the government in all aspects of development after 58 years of Nagaland statehood.

It has declared not to participate in any election, including the 2023 assembly poll, till its demand is fulfilled.