Kohima: As Nagaland celebrates the 60th statehood day on Thursday, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio urged Naga political groups, the Government of India (GoI) and other stakeholders to walk the extra mile as the state is now more hopeful than ever of an early solution to the vexed Naga issue.
“We also remain mindful of the Naga political issue, the final settlement of which we continue to wait for,” Rio said while addressing the people on the statehood day.
The Naga political issue predates statehood and has seen efforts by generations of people for its resolution, he said.
He said the state has seen immense progress in the last few years. “Each one of us is now more hopeful than ever of a solution. I appeal to all the Naga political groups and the Government of India, and all others concerned to seize the moment, walk the extra mile and reach out to everyone with the spirit of understanding to make the long-cherished dream of our people a reality by bringing in the solution without any further delay,” he said.
Owing to the long-running insurgency and unsettled political issue, Rio said the state had a very difficult time in the past. However, with the efforts of the administration, police, and all security agencies, an era of peace and tranquility has been maintained, the Chief Minister said.
While the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) was reduced to 15 police stations, the Chief Minister said the state is now geared to take full responsibility for all areas that were taken out of AFSPA.
With the situation becoming even better, he hoped that the Centre would consider bringing out more areas from the purview of AFSPA. Further, he said the state takes pride in being among the states with the lowest crime rates in the country.
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