State govt saddened over ''Frontier Nagaland'' demands: CMO

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Kohima, Jan 30 (PTI) The Nagaland government todaysaid they are saddened over demands of a separate state -''Frontier Nagaland''.

"We are saddened by the demands since it comes at atime when the Naga political struggle is at a crucial stageand when the government is trying to develop backward areas,"the Chief Minister''s Office (CMO) said in a statement.

The state cabinet had discussed the matter in a recentmeeting.

On the Congress Legislature Party''s appeal to dealwith the issue seriously, the CMO said they are "not sleeping"over the issue, and reaffirmed that it stood for the unity andintegrity of Nagaland.

Sympathising with the "genuine grievances" of the lackof development in the border districts, Chief Minister NeiphiuRio had earlier appealed Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation(ENPO) to reconsider their demands of separate state.

The ENPO has demanded a separate state comprising fourborder districts of Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng forsocio-economic development of the region.

"The state government had also stated that it standsfor unity and integrity of the state and of the Naga peopleand had appealed to the members of the ENPO to reconsider thematter and withdraw its stand," the CMO said.

Earlier, the government had also decided to constitutean official committee, headed by the chief secretary, to lookinto various grievances pointed out by the ENPO, adding thatthe panel would submit its findings and recommendations to thecabinet within February.

The state government had also invited ENPO officebearers for a meeting to discuss their grievances and demands,besides requesting the legislators from four districts to havedeliberations with the ENPO, the CMO statement said.

The CMO said that after all the steps taken, a meetingof all 60 elected members of Nagaland assembly would be calledfollowed by a meeting of Joint Legislative Forum (JLF) withthe office bearers of the ENPO.

The JLF was constituted by the Speaker last year todeal with the ongoing Naga peace process.

The CMO statement maintained that since the demand fora separate state was of utmost concern for every citizen ofNagaland, the issue should not be "politicised".

It also appealed to all sections and political partiesto come together and collectively work for the greaterinterest of the state and the Naga people, adding that thechief minister urged members of the opposition to collectivelywork together to resolve the issue.

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