Dimapur, July 31 (EMN): The Eastern Naga National Workers’ Forum (ENNWF) has taken a strong exception to the recent statement made by the Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on the proposed Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) that ‘any person (s) living in Nagaland including those Nagas from outside the present Nagaland state who came after the 1st December, 1963 shall not be entitled indigenous status.’

The ENNWF stated in a press release that it considers the statement as a “distortion of Naga history.”

“The eastern Naga people though ignorant as we are, we too understand that all Nagas are one and there is no black Nagas or white Nagas. We Nagas are living in a compact area of our own ancestral domains called Nagalim. And that we are for all Nagas, and for all Naga territories (sic),” read the statement.

“The terms – Nagaland Nagas, Assam Nagas, Manipur Nagas, Arunachal Nagas and Burma Nagas are derogative languages of the colonial powers. All Nagas without exception are indigenous in their homeland. Indigenousness of a Naga should be traced from a common history, common bloodline, common culture, common territory and common identity,” it added.

The forum went on to say that this “natural entity” can never be traced from the 16-point agreement or any political accord. It said all Nagas are equal partners in the national resistance movement and the Eastern Nagas are no exception.

“No one would deny the fact that the Eastern Naga people have also selflessly contributed immensely towards the cause. We have suffered horrible persecutions and oppressions in the hands of the enemies for defending every inch of Naga territories,” said the forum, adding that NNPG leaders seem to have forgotten food and shelter provided by the people of the region for decades.

“But now, are we to be treated as outsiders or foreigners in the Nagaland state? Is this the freedom you teach us? Is this the price of freedom we have paid for? We are simply shocked of your deceitful mindset,” said the forum.

While expressing surprise at the statement of the WC of NNPGs, it expressed hope that it will not dampen the spirit of oneness of the Nagas and “no force can separate them from one Naga family under one political umbrella.” “We are for one Naga family and we stand for unity of all Nagas,” added the statement.

~EMN

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