Kohima, Nov 14 (UNI) A touching scene was witnessed at the Reconciliation Football Match at Dimapur with a mixture of joy and sorrow, as on the one hand, people were cheering with a hope of peaceful atmosphere, while on the other hand the family members of the victims of underground cadres recalled their departed members.
Cheers and loud applause echoed from all the galleries from the huge crowd when the combined teams - all the Naga underground factions on one side and the civil societies on other - entered the football ground yesterday.
The combined team of Naga undergrounds included NSCN-IM, NSCN (K), Naga National Council (NNC), Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) and others, while the other side was constituted with the members of the Naga Hoho, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Naga Students' Federation (NSF), Church leaders and some other civil bodies.
The applause was a hope of reconciliation among the underground factions and a peaceful atmosphere for the development, as the warring Naga rebel leaders came under the same umbrella.
When the players lined up in the field, a group of ladies, who lost their husbands in the insurgency-related violence, entered in the field with white roses and offered a rose to each of the players, who were remembering their departed husbands, but were happy to see the combined team of underground factions with a hope to end the fratricidal killings.
The rebel leaders, who were afraid of each other, had spent the night together in a common hall and interacted with each other, and given a wide spectrum chance to understand and know the problems of each others.
This was the third Reconciliation Football Match organised by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) at the Dimapur District Sports Council (DDSC) stadium yesterday, which ended in a 3-3 tie.
The first match was held at Chiang Mai in Thailand one August 20 and the second match was held at Kohima on October 9 this year.
UNI AS DPM SS1220