Kohima: The quest for a final Solution to the Naga political issue continues till today, said Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio while addressing the people at a grand ceremony to mark the 57th Statehood Day, at Khouchiezie Kohima Local ground on Sunday.
“Negotiations between the various Naga political groups and the government of India have concluded and we are poised on the verge of history being made, as we could be very close to the final solution,” Rio said while acknowledging all negotiating parties for the breakthrough of the 22-year-long Naga peace talks.
Following the historic moment when the CM’s Independence Day speech was for the first time interpreted in sign language on August 15 this year, Rio’s Statehood Day speech, too, was interpreted in sign language — a move towards inclusive society.
“It was on this ground that Dr S Radhakrishnan, the then Prime Minister of India, inaugurated Nagaland as the 16th state of the the Union of India in 1963. Today as we celebrate this joyous occasion, it gives me immense pride to look at the stupendous journey made by our state to attain a worthy and admirable place among the various states of the country,” said Rio while addressing the gathering.
Rio added that the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF), through its November 13 meeting on Naga political Issue, appealed all neighbouring states to extend all possible cooperation so that the peace process can conclude in a successful manner which will enable peace and stability in the entire region. “The long-awaited solution of the Naga political issue seems to be within grasp and that fills us with eager anticipation and happiness. However, this should also make us realise the huge responsibility that now lies bestowed upon all of us for ensuring that every step taken by us is with greatest honesty and in the right direction so that what has been cherished and yearned for so long by our people becomes a reality without further delay,” he added.
The celebration was marked by a unique drill display by the 15(IR) Women battalion, demonstration of a hijacked bus by Special Task Force (STF), march past by eight contingents, band display by eight bands. Up to 1,060 students from 12 schools across Kohima joined in to sing ‘God Bless Nagaland’ for the final performance at the celebration.
Meanwhile taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Best wishes to my sisters and brothers of Nagaland on their Statehood Day. The people of Nagaland are compassionate and courageous. May Nagaland scale new heights of progress in the coming years”.
Rs 54.60 crore for small and marginal farmers under PM-KISAN
Rio announced that under the PM-KISAN, over 1,42,603 small and marginal farmers were registered and an amount of Rs 54.60 crore was directly transferred to individual accounts for farmers’ benefits. To facilitate farmers, an organic AC market at NE Agri-Expo in Dimapur, is in progress, he added.
Release of the Nagaland Police Uniform Code
The Police Uniform Code was released by the chief minister during the Statehood Day celebrations in Kohima to ensure that all members of the Nagaland Police (NP) adhere to guidelines; streamline and regulate police uniform; standardise the dress and appearance of all uniformed police officers and other ranks in Nagaland Police.
Release of the book, ‘Winning the Lost Battle- Assam Rifles in the battle of Kohima’
Commemorating the 75th year of the Battle of Kohima, Winning the Lost Battle: Assam Rifles in the battle of Kohima, a well-researched book, was released by the chief minister along with IGAR (North) Maj Gen PC Nair and other dignitaries. The 180-page book accounts the critical role essayed by the Assam Rifles in the battle, besides documenting the views of people who witnessed the battle.
Award of Gordon Graham prize for Naga literature
The second edition of the Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature for 2019 was awarded to Dr Neikehienuo Mepfhu-o in the fiction category for her book My Mother’s Daughter and Dr Abraham Lotha in the non-fiction category for the book, The Hornbill Spirit: Nagas Living Their Nationalism. The selection of the winners were made by three independent judges who are all renowned intellectuals.