KOHIMA, Dec 1: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday greeted the people on 61st Statehood
Day and reiterated his government’s strong commitment to facilitate for a peaceful resolution of the
long pending Naga political issue.
Nagaland was created as the 16th State of the Union of India and as the second state of the North East
Region after being bifurcated from Assam on December 1, 1963.
Participating in the Statehood Day celebrations at the Civil Secretariat here, Rio called upon all Naga
political groups, the Government of India, and other stakeholders to find ways of overcoming their
remaining differences, and to arrive at a peaceful and early resolution of the Naga issue.
“As we come together to celebrate 60 years of our statehood, let us also reflect on the beautiful and
eventful journey we have made so far, on the resilience of our society and our collective efforts that
have taken us to what we are today”, he said.
Maintaining that the six decades of Nagaland statehood have been marked by both challenges and
triumphs, he said, “The obstacles and adversities we faced on the way had tested the indomitable spirit
of the people, making the state stronger, wiser and more united.”
It is our collective responsibility to carry this legacy forward, and to foster a sense of belonging and pride
in being the citizens of our Nagaland state, the CM said.
“While making all efforts to continue marching on the path of development and progress, we continue
to give top most priority to the peaceful resolution of the Naga Political Issue (NPI), which has been the
innermost desire of our people for a very long time,” he said.
The CM also reminded that the prime need of the hour is unity, and that everyone should renew and
strengthen the bonds of unity and brotherhood.
He also remarked that due to some historical and geographical factors, there is still less socio-economic
and infrastructure development in the Eastern Nagaland region, as compared to the rest of the state.
“We have done a lot, but much more remains to be done. Let me assure the people of Eastern Nagaland
that both the Central and state governments are keen and committed, not only to continue these
special measures but to do even more,” he said.
While the Eastern Nagaland people are in dialogue with the Central government demanding a separate
statehood, Rio appealed to them to “Commit to resolve any grievances through dialogue and
understanding in the true spirit of Naga brotherhood.”
On the developmental front, Rio said one of the most significant events during the 60th year of
Statehood was the inauguration of the first-ever medical college – Nagaland Institute of Medical
Sciences & Research (NIMSR) at Kohima on October 14.
A significant development in the area of urban administration is the passing of a new Nagaland
Municipal Act, 2023, he said.
Maintaining that around 70 per cent of the people in the state are still directly or indirectly dependent
on agricultural and allied activities, Rio said the state is working to introduce new technology in the
agriculture sector through the integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and drones
to provide farmers with valuable insights and guidance for informed decision making.
The CM said with the increasing use of drugs in the state, ‘War on Drugs’ has been launched by the
Police and related departments to combat drug menace. An Anti-Narcotics Task Force has been set up in
all the districts and concerted efforts have been made to disrupt the drug networks, he said.
Rio also invited the Church and all the civil society organizations to join the government in this
challenging fight against drugs.
“We have completed 60 years of our statehood, during which we have indeed taken enormous strides.
Our economy needs to be broad-based and grow multi-dimensionally, to create more employment
opportunities, and better quality of life for our people as a whole. We need to invest more in human
resource development so that our youth is equipped with the latest skills and knowledge in this fast-
changing world,” Rio said.
The chief minister also launched the Nagaland School Safety Digital Training and also released a book on
Nagaland Disaster Reduction Road Map brought out by the Nagaland State Disaster Management
Rio also inaugurated the photo exhibition on ‘60 years of Nagaland’ set up by the Directorate of
Information and Public Relations. (PTI)