Kohima: Nagaland MLA and adviser Toshi Wungtung passed away in New Delhi on Thursday morning. He was 56.

The first-time MLA and adviser to department of information and public relations (DIPR), SCERT and village guards made his political debut in the state assembly after winning the Shamator-Chessore assembly constituency on a Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) ticket in the 2018 election.

Abu Metha, adviser to Nagaland chief minister, took to Twitter to offer his condolences. “So so sad & shocking on the demise of Toshi Wungtung, MLA & Advisor, Nagaland. He still had so much to contribute to #Nagaland and the nation. We have lost a brilliant mind and a visionary leader. I will greatly miss my close friend & elder brother. Deepest condolences,” he wrote.

Condoling the demise, deputy chief minister Y Patton said: “A very sad day for us! My deepest condolences to the friends, family, and supporters of Advisor Shri Toshi Wungtung Ji. Deeply saddened by his passing. He was a compassionate leader whose farsightedness, kind words, and deeds affected numerous lives. May his soul rest in peace!”.

R Khing, adviser to animal husbandry and veterinary services, also took to Twitter: “I’m shocked & deeply pained to learn my colleague Sh Toshi Wungtung, MLA&Advisor passed away in Delhi awhile ago. In his demise we have lost a young dynamic & forthright leader. My deepest condolences to bereaved family & well-wishers. May his soul rest in eternal peace”.

Minister of higher education and tribal affairs and state BJP president Temjen Imna Along also mourned the demise. “Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Hon’ble Advisor, GoN, Shri. Toshi Wungtung. We have lost a dynamic, courageous & an able leader. His passing away is a huge loss for the Naga Society. May the Almighty give strength to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.”

According to the Assembly secretariat, Wungtung did his Master’s degree in Arts and M Phil from Delhi University/ Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1992. He was a student representative to the academic council of JNU.

As a former student leader, Wungtung had also served as the president of Naga Students’ Union Delhi; member consultative/advisory committee of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF); member of the border research and drafting committee of the NSF on legal interpretation of Article 371(A) in regard to land and resources and 16 point agreement.

He was also a former leader of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO).

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An academician, Wungtung had also worked on issues through assignment with the stay government, Centre and Myanmar relating to ‘border fencing’ along the Indo-Myanmar border.

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