DIMAPUR, Aug 20 - Senior citizens of Nagaland have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include restoration of “ancestral and forefathers’ lands” in any final solution of the Naga political issue. According to them, these ancestral lands of theirs had been ‘arbitrarily’ transferred to Assam by the erstwhile British Government.
To justify their claim, the Nagaland Senior Citizens Association (NSCA), in a memorandum to the Prime Minister, cited the memorandum submitted to the Simon Commission in Kohima on January 10, 1929, representation of Naga people to the erstwhile British Government for lands which were recorded in a book “Emergence of Nagaland” by Hokishe Sema, Hydari Agreement of June 1947 and 16-Point Agreement.
The Association also demanded implementation of scheme for skilled manpower development, setting up of an international airport and an agricultural university, provision for better medical care, improvement of transport and communication in Nagaland, etc., under the Centre’s Act East Policy.
On skilled manpower development, NSCA said Nagaland should not be allowed to lag behind but equal opportunities and facilities should be provided.
To this end, the Association demanded the government to initiate infrastructure build up, develop skilled manpower by providing training to the youth and encourage development of indigenous skills.
With regard to National Advisory Council’s (NAC’s) proposal for direct flights from State capitals to Delhi, the NSCA said no such flights are available to Nagaland till date.
The Association said under the Act East Policy, an international airport for Nagaland should be made a priority with site surveyed and selected by expert Central team, thus opening up markets of South East Asian countries to Nagaland.
On the lack of higher level of medical and health care system in the State, NSCA said the gap could be bridged to a large extent by providing an AIIMS-like institution.
Regarding the proposal for Agricultural University, the Association said it would encourage in improvising and innovating the system of cultivation and production of crops organically.
On transport and communication, the NSCA stressed on completion of railway connectivity to the State capital as scheduled, two-lane road connectivity to all district headquarters and airports for all district headquarters.
Further, the NSCA urged the Prime Minister to proportionately enhance budget provision for older people, ageing population and senior citizens.
Seeking safety and security for North East people in other parts of the country, the senior citizens appealed that till such time higher and technical institutions were developed in NE States, the Centre should provide facilities for their higher and technical education through reservation and ensure their safety and security in such study and working places.