Kohima, May 13 : With factional clashes continuing despite government and public appeals, Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L Imchen has cautioned all Naga cadres not to provoke the state government into taking drastic steps to protect the lives and properties of its citizens.
Addressing a press conference at Dimapur after his return from New Delhi yesterday, Imchen said, '"The factional clashes and fratricidal killings have crossed all imaginable limits.''
He asserted that the government's first priority was to provide security and peace to the people. The government would not hesitate to take necessary steps to stop the frequent factional fights in the civilian populated areas of the State."
''No one should underestimate the strength of the government as it has the authority to execute laws to protect its people from insurgency,'' he said.
Imchen asserted that the more than 60-year-old fight for the Naga cause could not be solved with the ''barrel of the gun''.
He stated that whereas the 1951 Naga Plebiscite had mandated for a separate Naga nation, it had never given any mandate to the Naga underground groups to use AK-47 rifles against the people.
Imchen said the policy of domination was the real problem behind the current enmity in the Naga society and advised all the people to consider the Naga society as a unit, a team, by recognising the coexistence of all Naga tribes.
He admitted that the factional clashes in public areas were both political and law and order problems, which needed concerted efforts from all.
He said the policy of domination should be abandoned immediately, adding that frisking and checking will be a regular feature henceforth.
He also appealed to the public to cooperate with law enforcing agencies.
Patil will visit the State on May 14, 2008 to study the situation. By Vibou Ganguly