A 10-member team from the newly-formed Rising People’s party (RPP) visited Tzürangkong range along Assam- Nagaland border on Thrusday and expressed solidarity with the people in the area for undergoing untold hardships due to the ongoing border issue.The visiting team also had interactions with the members of Tzürangkong Naga Youth Front, Northern Sumi Hoho and other local leaders.
Later, adressing a press conference at hotel Whispering Winds, RPP team members led by Joel Naga, President claimed to have had a fruitful meeting and interactions with the people there. They said the people at the meeting expressed their grievances and also their dissatisfaction with the State Government for having neglected them. The people also narrated their sufferings when economic blockades were imposed from the Assam side whenever the border issue cropped up, the members added.
Referring to Assam chief minister, Himanta Biswa. Sarma’s declaration that Assam police battalion camps would be set up at the border, the RPP leaders said , Nagaland government has not issued any statement till now. They further regretted that neither any politician nor political parties had visited the area till now, except minister Imma Along as the area happened to fall under his constituency.
RPP said chief minister Neiphiu Rio and his Cabinet should have been in Tzürangkong by now to take stock of the situation.
Claiming that situation in the area was very tense and that it could erupt any moment, they demanded a clear cut policy from the State Government for resolving the border issue.
Warning of violence in the area. RPP asked the government to ensure that there was no bloodshed and further cautioned that the State Government should hold solely responsible if anything happens.
RPP suggested that the State Government unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 agreement with Assam and mentioned that, by doing so the Disturbed Area Belt (DAB) would automatically get nullified and the government could then directly administer the belt.
Explaning that the visit was to express solidarity with people in the area the team members promised that RPP would monitor the issue and demanded that the State Government should also speed up the process of completing the Foothill road which, if completed would go a long way in easing sufferings of the people.
They also questioned the Nagaland government that, when other North-Eastern States were so sensitive to their respective border issues, why it was not doing enough on the matter. They claimed that the Assam Government was pursuing a proactive policy in border areas and alleged that neutral forces stationed in the area were in favour of Assam.
RPP urged civil society organisations and NGOs to view the border issue as that of Nagaland, and not just of a particular tribe along the border.
Commenting on the formation of RPP, the leaders claimed that the party wish to bring true change to Nagaland, “a change in the system of electing representatives”, and wanting to sow the seed of accountability and transparency to ensure real democracy in Nagaland.
They appealed to the people of Nagaland to repose their trust on RPP and confirmed that the party would contest the forthcoming Assembly elections in 2023.
Asserting that RPP was an opportunity for youngsters to bring the much-needed , change, they assured that the party would continue to rise issues that affects the people.