Kohima: The Nagaland government on Sunday
said they are saddened over demands of a separate state -
"We are saddened by the demands since it comes at a
time when the Naga political struggle is at a crucial stage
and when the government is trying to develop backward areas,"
the Chief Minister`s Office (CMO) said in a statement.
The state cabinet had discussed the matter in a recent
On the Congress Legislature Party`s appeal to deal
with the issue seriously, the CMO said they are "not sleeping"
over the issue, and reaffirmed that it stood for the unity and
integrity of Nagaland.
Sympathising with the "genuine grievances" of the lack
of development in the border districts, Chief Minister Neiphiu
Rio had earlier appealed Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation
(ENPO) to reconsider their demands of separate state.
The ENPO has demanded a separate state comprising four
border districts of Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng for
socio-economic development of the region.
"The state government had also stated that it stands
for unity and integrity of the state and of the Naga people
and had appealed to the members of the ENPO to reconsider the
matter and withdraw its stand," the CMO said.
Earlier, the government had also decided to constitute
an official committee, headed by the chief secretary, to look
into various grievances pointed out by the ENPO, adding that
the panel would submit its findings and recommendations to the
cabinet within February.
The state government had also invited ENPO office
bearers for a meeting to discuss their grievances and demands,
besides requesting the legislators from four districts to have
deliberations with the ENPO, the CMO statement said.
The CMO said that after all the steps taken, a meeting
of all 60 elected members of Nagaland assembly would be called
followed by a meeting of Joint Legislative Forum (JLF) with
the office bearers of the ENPO.
The JLF was constituted by the Speaker last year to
deal with the ongoing Naga peace process.
The CMO statement maintained that since the demand for
a separate state was of utmost concern for every citizen of
Nagaland, the issue should not be "politicised".
It also appealed to all sections and political parties
to come together and collectively work for the greater
interest of the state and the Naga people, adding that the
chief minister urged members of the opposition to collectively
work together to resolve the issue.