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Scams, agitations rocked Nagaland in 2016

The year saw gunfights between Assam Rifles and NSCN-K leading to casualties on both sides

Press Trust of India  |  Kohima 

T R Zeliang
T R Zeliang, chief minister of Nagaland

was rocked by scams and saw a spate of agitations and protests besides continuous push by the civil society for a solution to the vexed Naga issue in 2016.

Nagas came together strongly opposing two major decisions of the Centre — imposition of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and Disturbed Areas Act and observation of Good Governance Day on Christmas day.

The year gone by saw gunfights between Assam Rifles and NSCN-K leading to casualties on both sides. People held several rallies to protest such clashes.

President of NSCN (Unification), Khole Konyak, formally joined NSCN(IM) in March while Chairman of NSCN(IM) Isak Chishi Swu died after prolonged illness in June.

Inter-tribal clashes in Shamatore and Kiphire led to burning down of several houses and properties.

The state also saw a pressure group under the banner of Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) and Concerned Citizens of and others highlighting a fuel adulteration racket in June and anomalies in Public Distribution System in December.

Investigation by state police into the two scams is in progress.

The granting of recognised tribe status to Rongmei Nagas by the state government led to differences within the state's apex tribal organisation Naga Hoho, following which three tribal organisations Ao, Lotha and Sumi were disassociated from the Hoho in September.

On the political front, the unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was launched at Dimapur. In June, a group of suspended Congress leaders floated Nagaland Congress.

The political drama within the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) continued with the suspension of political giants Neiphiu Rio, a three-time chief minister and now a Lok Sabha member along with MLA Imkong L Imchen on charges of conspiring to topple Chief Minister T R Zeliang.

Zeliang also removed BJP MLA Mmhonlumo Kikon from his ministry as Parliamentary Secretary for Labour and Employment, Skill Development and Border Affairs in October on charges of anti-DAN government activities.

The state government decided to hold elections to urban local bodies by granting 33 per cent women reservation despite pressure from various tribal organisations and civil societies to reconsider the decision.

With a view to amicably resolve the prolonged border issue with Assam, Zeliang in October met his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal at Kaziranga and discussed ways to create more cordial relations.

The state also became the first in the northeast to pass Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Bill.

The School Education department was rocked by several agitations — employees under centrally-sponsored schemes like SSA, RMSA and Hindi teachers for non-payment of salaries and regularisation of their services.

First Published: Wed, January 04 2017. 11:36 IST