Prince Andrew on India visit; to go Kohima



Kohima: As part of his week-long visit to India, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, will arrive here tomorrow on a day-long visit to commemorate Queen’s diamond jubilee celebration, official sources said here on Monday.

As per programmes scheduled for the visit of the Duke, after his arrival the Prince will visit Kohima World War-II cemetery and place a wreath in memory of those who fell in the gruesome battle of 1944, the sources said.

It would be the first time that a member of British Royal family visits Kohima where the most decisive ground battle of second world war was fought between Allied Force and the invading Japanese army during the summer of 1944 where hundreds of friends and foes gave their life in far away land.

Those who died in the Kohima battle were either buried or cremated on a hillock in the middle of the town where war cemetery was constructed and maintained by Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

The visiting Prince will be accorded public reception at newly constructed Convention Centre of Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) near the civil secretariat complex here.

He will also visit the World War-II museum at Kisama Heritage Village, about 12 km south of this capital town in the afternoon, officials said.

Meanwhile, Naga national Council (NNC), the first political organization of the Nagas, has opposed the visit of Prince Andrew, arguing that the British throne was the main factor for the plight of the Nagas for six long decades of struggle for "rightful freedom of Naga nation."

In a statement, the NNC, the pioneer of Naga political struggle, appealed to all Nagas "in the homeland" to protest the Prince Andrew’s visit.

It said that the British government "did not say even a word about the plight of the Nagas," who knew very well about "the historical and political rights of the Nagas, but only betrayed the Nagas."

The NNC alleged that the British government had completely forgotten the Nagas who had helped the British in the World War I and II.

PTI