T R Zeliang bats for dialogue to address Naga issue

Chief Minister T R Zeliang said if Nagas had to wait any longer, more factions might surface, adding to the number of already existing nine and ultimately the people would suffer.

By: PTI | Kohima | Published:November 3, 2016 9:20 pm
Nagaland, Chief Minister T R Zeliang, Naga issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naga People's Front, India news, latest news Chief Minister T R Zeliang. (File)

Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has said it is high time to look for a peaceful solution to the Naga issue through dialogue and negotiations to make the region free of armed conflict. “Negotiations through peaceful means is the only way to resolve the Naga issue and once it is addressed, gun culture will be a thing of the past,” Zeliang said on Wednesday to a large gathering at Chozuba in Phek district on the occasion of the 29th Town Council.

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Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his resolve to find permanent peace, Zeliang said both the Prime Minister and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) were believers in finding solution to the protracted Naga political problem through peaceful means.

Underscoring the importance of an early solution to the problem, the chief minister said if Nagas had to wait any longer, more factions might surface, adding to the number of already existing nine and ultimately the people would suffer.

“We are hopeful for an early peaceful solution, acceptable to the Naga people,” Zeliang said, voicing optimism that even NSCN (K) will come back to renew the ceasefire agreement with the central government.

“At this juncture each Naga citizen should support call for a solution for permanent peace. Let us make this land free of armed conflict…It is also my desire that this spirit of unity and consensus prevailing at the state level should also percolate down to the grassroot,” the CM said.

On the opposition from certain quarters against collection of taxes by the government, Zeliang said municipal taxes and shop permit fee are mainly for development of the town and to pay the salary of the workers.

The CM announced that elections to the urban local bodies in the state will commence from January 2017 in those places where there had been no opposition to holding the polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.