By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
A senior member of the NSCN (I-M) AK Lungalang, who was one of the team members in negotiations (peace parleys) at the “Bangkok Talks” with the representatives of the Indian government in the month of July 1997 passed away on Friday night after a prolonged illness at Eden hospital, Dimapur.
Born on June 5, 1930, to Puidiheing Lunglang, and Heigauzeleu (daughter of Ibaheing Thou) at Benreu village under Peren district, late Lunglang was amongst the first batch to pass out Class VI from government middle school, Peren, and later went on to pursue higher education at government high school, Kohima.
Married in 1953, late AK Lungalang, who served as a leader in many capacities including Zeliang Baptist Church Association (ZBCA) from 1954 to 1959, chairman, Zeliang-Kuki Tribal Council (ZKTC) for two years (1960-1962), he joined “national service” as commissioner, Japfu State, from 1962 till 1968.
In the course of time, he was arrested by Gorkha Regiment on November 2, 1968, and during his captivity, he “fasted for 58 days and nights”, after which he was released unconditionally released by the Indian government.
He later also served as the president of Zeliangrong Baptist Church Association (ZBCA) from 1972 to 1975.
It was in the year 1991, the then chief of the Naga Army, “Gen VS Atem” invited him to join the ‘Christmas celebration” at the “General Headquarter (CHQ)”, Chaka Camp, where an intense “debate” was held for three days and nights, and ultimately the “army chief” convinced him of their principles, hence, he joined the “NSCN” under leadership of Isak Chishi Swu, and Th Muivah, the same year.
“His declaration of faith and allegiance on the NSCN (I-M) leaders, Isak and Muivah was made known to everyone through a publication in one of the local dailies,” stated a brief biography of the late Naga leader.
Another added feather on his caps included being elected as the first “Tatar” representing Zelianrong Region in 1994, inducted as “Kilonser” in 1997 followed by inducting him as “kilonser”, Law and Justice, in 1999.
Late Lungalang also served as steering committee member from 2000 to 2002, and as ‘Ato Kilonser” from 2002 to 2004, a steering committee member from 2004 to 2007, held the post of “speaker” tatar Hoho from 2007-08, served as executive member, Steering Committee, from 2008 to 2013, while finally inducting him to into the collective leadership on June 24, 2013, and continued till his demise.
Instrumental in the successful “peace talks” thereby signing the “cease fire declaration” between the NSCN (I-M) and the Indian government on August 1, 1997, late Lungalang since then has been actively involved in the ‘negotiations” with the government of India to find a “final and lasting solution” which was the long cherished “goal of the Nagas without borders”.
As per family sources, the NSCN (I-M) leader was experiencing health complication being a diabetic patient couple with throat and lungs problems.
It was learnt that his health condition was deteriorating since last year.
A last send-off programme was organized at Camp Hebron on Saturday afternoon after which the body was taken to his native village, Heningkunglwa, Peren, where it was reported to be laid to rest after a brief service to be conducted at 11 am Sunday.
TR Zeliang mourns AK Lungalang’s demise
Extending his deepest condolences to the near and dear ones of late AK Lungalang who passed away on Friday night at Eden hospital, Dimapur, after a prolonged illness, former Nagaland chief minister, and Chairman, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Nagaland, has condoled the demise of AK Lungalang.
In a condolence message, Zeliang stated that the late Naga leader having born on June 5, 1930, at Benreu village, Peren, Nagaland, dedicated his whole life to the cause of the “Naga movement” and remained steadfast in his stand for unity, of the Nagas till his last breathe.
Reminiscing that late Lungalang joined the NNC in his prime age and served as the Commissioner from 1962-1968 under the leadership of AZ Phizo, Zeliang said that he personally found Lungalang to be an outspoken gentleman who minced no words express his thoughts and ideas.
From his involvement in the civil society organizations to serving the “Naga national cause”, he was always enthusiastic and filled with zeal to serve the people while also strongly propagated for unity amongst the Zeliangrong brothers for which late AK Lungalang was lovingly addressed as “Zeliangrongpao”, added TR Zeliang.
Mentioning that in the year 1991, Lungalang joined the NSCN (I-M) to continue his work for the Nagas and held various important positions, the former chief minister also shared that late Lungalang was the first “Tatar” representing the Zeliangrong region in 1994 and who was also instrumental in signing the first “ceasefire agreement” in 1997 when he was part of the team that held peace talks with the government of India in Bangkok, Thailand.
Zeliang also stated that during the most crucial stages when “peace talks” between the NSCN (I-M) and the government of India was held at the “highest level” in 2002, Lungalang was appointed was appointed as the “kilo Kilonser” and later he continued to serve as “executive member” in the steering committee before finally being inducted into the “collective leadership” on June 24, 2013.
Late Lungalang was also part of the team that was present in Delhi during signing of the “historic framework agreement” on August 3, 2015, Zeliang also added.
Mentioning that late Lungalang was not only a prominent leader of the Zeliangrong people but also amongst the Nagas as he strived sincerely for the betterment of the Nagas, the UDA chairman said that Lungalangs’ demise has left a huge vacuum which would be difficult to be filled.