Nagaland concerned over NC Hills Violence

Al Ngullie

Dimapur, May 10 
Morung Express News

With the communal upheaval in Assam’s North Cachar Hills spiraling, the Nagaland State Cabinet is expected to meet sooner as the state’s chief minister deems a sitting. The envisaged meeting, according to a state government functionary, is “waking in response” to the deteriorating state of affairs in the district where the communal hostilities are on.

In fact, even as this news report was being filed, confirmed reports have been received here that the Government of Assam has ordered Sunday a massive joint operation by security forces to rein in the violence. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has ordered joint operations by the Army, police and paramilitary forces, official reports said. The violence, which gathered pace since the March killing of several Zeliangrong, has now left about a score people dead and hundreds homeless or displaced from both the Zeliangrong and Dimasa communities. 

Minister for Urban Development Dr. Shurhozelie today said that the government would meet “very soon.” No specific date was informed of, on which the government would meet. Queried on the exact date, he said the schedule would be fixed by the chief minister himself. “Our people are suffering and we have to find ways in peaceful manner (to solve the issue). We will do our best,” he said tonight over phone.  

Any further step to be taken by the government, he explained, would be decided upon only in the meeting. Dr. Shurhozelie also said the government has yet to hear anything from the Assam administration over the NC Hills malady. For now, the Urban Development minister added, “It is too early for me to say anything.” 

Interestingly, it was also informed that the Nagaland government had written to her Assam counterpart in April, to rein in the then-simmering tension. Till date, there has yet to be any communication from Assam, a senior minister in the NPF-led DAN government said. 

Another senior DAN minister TR Zeliang said there has been no communication from Assam. The Planning minister is said to be in touch with Zeliangrong community leaders in North Cachar Hills though. Zeliang, also former Rajya Sabha MP, was especially unhappy that the Assam administration has yet to ‘arrest even a single person’ responsible for setting off the entire violence in the district. The Nagaland government had written earlier to her Assam counterparts, he said. The affected community’s leaders are in touch with the Assam government, he said. Over the envisaged meeting of the state government, Zeliang said he has no information as of now.   

While little political prerogative can be exercised by the Government of Nagaland over a situation outside its jurisdiction, the envisaged cabinet meeting is perceived to be a balm for those seeking intervention from the Naga political spectrum. Nagas’ civil society on its part, has undertaken a trip led by the Naga Hoho to troubled North Cachar Hills recently as a clarion for solidarity with the affected Naga community in Assam.