Nagas in Manipur celebrate the 73rd Naga ‘Independence Day’ in Senapati, Manipur with over 4,000 people witnessing the historic event on Wednesday Credit: EastMojo image

Senapati: Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) secretary general Neingulo Krome on Wednesday said that the Shillong Accord, which was inked on November 11, 1975, is one of the major reasons that caused the fragmentation within the Naga national political organisations.

Krome was speaking as the special guest at the 73rd Naga ‘Independence Day’ celebrations held at Katomei village in Senapati district of Manipur. The event was organised by the Naga People’s Organisation (NPO) under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC), an apex body of the Nagas in Manipur.

Krome also appealed the gathering to pardon those signatories of the so-called 16-point agreement of 1960, which led to the creation of Nagaland in 1963. The agreement was signed between the Union government of India and the Naga People’s Convention.

“Let us forgive them, assuming they did not know what they were doing that time,” he said.

NPMHR secretary general Neingulo Krome attended the event as the special guest during the 73rd Naga ‘Independence Day’ celebrations in Senapati, Manipur on Wednesday

When asked about the difficulties and challenges faced during the preparation of the event, Adani Mao, a former UNC president, said, “This is part of our annual calendar. This time around too, when we wanted to organise it in a bigger way, there were movements and disturbances from the Assam Rifles. Our banners that were put up were ripped off from the markets.”

“This is reported not only in Senapati district but also in Chandel where flags that were put up were taken away by the district police,” he further said.

Also Read: 2 Army officers from Manipur get gallantry awards this year

Every year, on this day, Nagas living in the Naga-inhabited areas unfurl their ‘national flag’ to mark the day of their ‘freedom’ from the forces.

A man decked up in traditional Naga attire at the 73rd Naga ‘Independence Day’ celebrations in Senapati, Manipur on Wednesday

This year, over 4,000 Naga people from various parts of the Naga-inhabited areas gathered at Katomei local ground and renewed the spirit of togetherness based on the theme ‘One Goal, One Destiny’. As informed by organisers, the event was a first-of-its-kind to celebrate under such an august gathering, though the day has been observed each year since 1947 at smaller platforms by student bodies.

During the event, various budding artistes from the community presented vocal performances and enthralled the congregation. The event saw representatives from various Naga apex bodies, including UNC, NPMHR, All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), Naga Women Union, Eastern Naga Student Association, Myanmar (ENSAM) and all Naga tribe Hoho’s.

“It is a great honour to have participated on this historic event. Today, we could only gather here to celebrate our birthright for freedom across the artificial boundaries which were demarcated without our knowledge and consent,” ENSAM president Nokpai Konyak added.

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