Proposal for autonomous council rejected by Eastern Naga bodies

Proposal for autonomous council rejected by Eastern Naga bodies

Kohima: Several eastern Nagaland organisations, including the influential Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation (ENPO), have rejected the draft proposal for creation of an autonomous council.

This decision was taken following a joint consultative meeting held at Dimapur in Nagaland on Wednesday (February 14), which was attended by representatives from various bodies across eastern Nagaland.

The meeting convened by the Eastern Nagaland Gazette Officers Association (ENGOA), saw participation from members of the Eastern Nagaland Women’s Organisation (ENWO), Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF), apex tribal bodies, as well as the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) and the Eastern Nagaland Legislators Union (ENLU).

ENLU secretary Lima Onen said that the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had submitted a draft proposal to the Nagaland government.

However, the draft, perceived to outline the establishment of a regional/autonomous council, met with disapproval. Consequently, the meeting proposed to reject the draft proposal in its present form.

Delving into the history of the demand for statehood, Chang reiterated that a similar proposal for an autonomous council was tabled by the Nagaland government in 2011.

Subsequently, the ENPO had opposed this proposal following a rally in 2015, leading to an unresolved issue since then.

“We rejected the MHA’s proposal in accordance with our earlier demands for complete statehood,” Chang emphasized.

He also mentioned that the main negotiating team of the ENPO was yet to receive the draft proposal from the MHA.

Asked about the apparent bypassing of the ENPO by the Centre, Chang opined that it is a tripartite negotiation involving all stakeholders.

He suggested that the Centre may have deemed it appropriate to engage with the Nagaland government first, considering the potential territorial impact.

Regarding the contents of the proposal, Chang highlighted the primary contention surrounding the creation of a regional council in line with Article 371 (A) sub-clause (d), which mandates the establishment of a regional council for the Tuensang district in Nagaland.

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