Under the aegis of Chandel Naga People’s Organization, the 75th Naga Independence Day was observed at Lamphou Pasna village, Chandel on Saturday. The program began by unfurling of Naga flag near the community hall. The Khurmi Region Chandel also celebrated the 75th Naga Independence Anniversary at Phungchung village.
However the observation was marred by public protest at the district headquarters’ Japhou Bazaar against security forces removal of Naga flags. According to CNPO President, “Today morning the police removed all the Naga flags. The CSOs demanded the return of the flags. The OC (officer-in-charge) refused to return in the manner we wanted. So the protest had started”. The protest in the afternoon led to pulling down of Chandel police booth at the heart of Japhou Bazaar road as protestors set it on fire. This was followed by more public uproar and agitation on the streets resorting to pelting stones, reported used of catapults. The police responded by using teargas. Civilian injury as well as police injury was reported during the short but intense confrontation.
Later, the district administration and CSOs and former public leaders came to an amicable understanding to solve the problem before situation got out of hand. The CSOs were able to obtain the flags from the police to the desire of the protesting masses. The CSOs headed by CNPO appreciated public support and cooperation during such unplanned but spontaneous protest.
The protestors finally left the venue after a prayer was invoked by UNC Assembly Secy Eno Paul Khiang.
Meanwhile, the commemoration of the 75th Naga Independence Day at Lamphou Pasna was attended by Eno Kh. Meba, Speaker CNPO, Eno W. Kanral, Speaker UNC, Eno Ts. Ruwngwar, President NCAC, Eli W. Tepamran, President NWUC, Eno Sk. Joseph, President NSUC, Eno Th. Malshawn, V/P CNPO, Eno Rev. Huten Wilson, Executive Secy, ANBA as special invitees on the dais.
The commemoration program was also attended by tribe leaders, church leaders, well-wishers and others reaching almost three digit figure strength.
President CNPO, Rd. David Boyes in his welcome address highlighted the enormous suffering the early Naga leaders have made in their pursuit for justice and self-determination of the Nagas. In that sense, the present suffering is nothing and emphasized the leaders and members to be more resolute in vision with perseverance spirit. Naga according to him is ‘a unique community and thus any solution that unfolds with the GoI should be based on honourable and respectable terms. He also appreciated the village authority Lamphou Pasna for their support and cooperation.
One minute silent prayer was observed by the members present to show respect and honour to the Naga martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the greater glory of Nagalim. Most of the speakers in their solidarity speeches emphasized on building a strong Naga nation state. The program was followed by lunch at the community hall.