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Dimapur protest likely to dampen Naidu’s Nagaland visit

File Photo of Dimapur, Nagaland during a shutdown

The decision of the civil society organisations to go ahead with the proposed October 5 rally in support of the protest against the shifting of the Deputy Commissioner’s office to Chümoukedima is likely to dampen the political excitement generated by the scheduled visit of M Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice-President of India to Nagaland.

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Special Correspondent

The government of Nagaland and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Core Committee have so far failed to clinch a deal in connection with the shifting of Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Dimapur to the new complex at Chümoukedima in spite of Monday’s meeting held in Kohima.

The new development is likely to dampen the excitement over the Vice-President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu’s three-day visit to Nagaland.

Speaking to this correspondent, the convener of CSOs Core Committee Kuhoi Zhimo said that even before the outcome of the emergency meeting held in Kohima with the state government, the pasting of posters on vehicles including three-wheelers in Dimapur in order to create awareness about the issue began on Monday.

If the government of Nagaland failed to intervene on a positive note, the demands and protests of the Dimapur citizens could continue. The same cannot be compromised, Kuhoi said. He also pointed out that the CSOs had no objection to the functioning of the already created ADC office in the new DC complex in Chümoukedima.

What the CSOs demanded was based on their displeasure over taking away many departments from the present office (location) in Dimapur to “a far-flung area which is not acceptable”.

Informing that if the Nagaland government responds to its demand positively, they “would be happy” as there are no issues related apart from shifting of the DC’s office to Chumoukedima.

He said, “Though the present DC office has been neglected for years without any renovations, the shifting of the same office should be within the municipal areas (judicial) and not under any village council (s) which is not appropriate.”

Kuhoi also pointed out that the state government should not undermine Dimapur as it is the only commercial hub of the state and also one of the highest revenue-generating city in the Northeast.

Questioning the Nagaland government why “step-motherly treatment” had to be given to Dimapur district, where there is no issue of “isms” but everyone irrespective of tribes or community co-existed together peacefully, the CSO core committee convener informed that Dimapur is under Mouza No.1 to 3 urban or municipal areas under Dimapur Deputy Commissioner’s jurisdiction.

He also alleged that “a non-Mouza” area under village councils is “dictating” and that this was not acceptable as the government’s revenue cannot be generated elsewhere except the municipal areas

Kuhoi said that when the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police are located in the main area, “how could they control from a distance which is around 10 km away from the main area”.

He explained that “a common commuter has to catch a bus till the main road (7th Mile) and then catch an auto (hire) even to the Transport office” and added that the public had to face the brunt of inconveniences even for registering names for procuring a driving license.

He later informed that the proposed rally would start at 9 am from Holy Cross Junction, Dimapur, and not from Clock Tower Junction as notified earlier and then proceed to DC’s office to remind its earlier ultimatum served on the DC Dimapur.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Principal Secretary (Home), Nagaland Abhijit Sinha, informed this correspondent that Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, who is also in charge of Home, will have a sitting with the five MLAs from Dimapur on Tuesday to discuss the same issue.

Sinha also said that nothing has been “finalized” during Monday’s meeting but he hoped that a concrete outcome will be arrived at when the five MLAs meet and discuss the issue.

On the proposed rally on October 5, the principal home secretary said that the department is aware of the peaceful rally which has been conveyed to the state government and hoped that it would be held “peacefully.”

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