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Tribes council against bifurcation of Nagaland

GUWAHATI: The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) is against the idea of bifurcation of the state and creation of “Frontier Nagaland,” as has been demanded by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) over the past few years.

Speaking to The Shillong Times on Tuesday, NTC spokesperson Theja Therieh said that even though the ENPO has been harping on the separate state issue for long, demanding special status and reservation, the council would never support any move to divide the state.

“We will never wish that the state, which has 16 tribes, is bifurcated. But ENPO has every right to put forth their interests and express their resentment. If there is anything which the Centre can do to address their grievances, enhance their status, alleviate their position both politically and economically, we have nothing against it,” Therieh said.

ENPO is the apex body of the Konyak, Chang, Sangtam, Khiamniungan, Yimchunger and Phom tribes. The separate state, according to the organization, would be made up of the four underdeveloped districts of Tuensang, Mon, Longleng and Kiphire.

A delegation of ENPO is in New Delhi to hold talks on the issue of a separate state with the Centre on Tuesday.

ENPO has been discussing the demand with the Centre since 2015. It has maintained that these four districts have been neglected over the decades and that a separate state would pave way for better administration and development.

Apparently, the demand is in conflict with NSCN (IM)’s demand for Greater Nagalim, which envisages the integration of Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

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