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Kohima: A three-member panel formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to look into demands by people of Eastern Nagaland arrived here on Wednesday.

The panel headed by Advisor for MHA (Northeast) A K Mishra and comprising Intelligence Bureau Joint Director Mandeep Singh Tuli and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Northeast division Director A K Dhayani as members called on Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

The team also met the officials of Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO), ENPO statehood demand talk team leader K Asungba Sangtam, a former member of Lok Sabha told PTI.

He said that the meeting with ENPO which has been spearheading a movement demanding a separate state in eastern Nagaland, was only a courtesy’ as the team had actually come to meet the Chief Minister and state government officials.

Sangtam expressed confidence that the panel formed by the MHA under the directive of Union Home Minister Amit Shah would “honour the earlier assurance” on looking into the demands of people of Eastern Nagaland.

The central fact-finding team was in Nagaland in December and held meetings with the ENPO officials and tribal organisations in Tuensang and Kiphire districts.

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ENPO, an apex body of seven Naga tribes from the six districts Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator has been demanding separate statehood Frontier Nagaland since 2010.

It had boycotted the Nagaland’s Hornbill festival from December 1 to 10 and also threatened to not participate in the recently concluded State general election.

However, with Union home minister Amit Shah assuring to look into their demand after the elections, the ENPO area whih elects 20 legislators, participated in the state assembly polls.

Also Read | Nagaland to soon become officially opposition-less; CM Rio ‘welcomes’ support

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