With little hope that Naga armed cadres would listen to the voice of the people, Nagas across the length and breath of Nagaland called for restoration of peace and normalcy in the trouble torn state. Under the aegis of Goanburas and Dubashis peace rallies were organised in all the 11 districts of the state.
In the state capital Kohima, worried Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen led the rally from old MLA hostel junction to the main public ground and lambasted the anti-social activities of the Naga armed cadres. ?Kidnapping, abduction, ransom and extortion will not bring independence to Naga prople,? he said. Condemning the killing of innocent people in the strongest term, he questioned the cadres who gave them orders to shoot at the public. ?AK- 47 will never bring independence to Nagas,? he asserted. He said 1951 Naga plebiscite was not for taking up AK- 47 rifles, nor was to kill public with guns,? he said. He called upon the Naga cadres to eschew the path of violence and come for the common platform for common agenda to be placed before the policy makers of the country to decide the future course of action for the Naga people. He also blamed the political parties of the state for the present mess in Naga society. He said the political parties always take advantage of the situation and exploit it for their own vested interest and this has compounded the situation.
Imchatoba Imchen, president of Naga Students? Federation (NSF) said 11 years of Naga ceasefire has resulted into increase in fratricidal killings, kidnapping, abduction, ransom and extortions generating extra burden to the common Nagas. Angami Youth Organisation general secretary S. Nagi urged the government to enforce its authority to save the people from the ongoing turmoil brought about by underground groups in the name of a political movement. The Joint Forum of the GBs and DBs highlighted that despite the ceasefire agreement, violence and killings continue to take place in civilian populated areas of Dimapur, which also endangered the lives of the general public.
Commissioner Nagaland, HK Khulu said Nagaland state was passing through the darkest hour in its long 60 years of Naga history after the creation of the state. He said the Nagas are living in a fragile atmosphere wanting peace and harmony for progressive society and they are fed up of the continuing violence and killings among themselves.
The state convener for GBs and DBs Joint Forum, Taku Longkumer, expressed the apprehension that if the situation continues, there would be a civil war in the Naga society. ?Unless there is cessation of fire, how can we call for reconciliation,? he asked. He also appealed to the Naga Hoho and ENPO (Eastern Naga Peoples Organisation) to come together and join hands in the process of initiating peace in the state. Naga Hoho speaker, HK Zhimomi, was critical about the role of Village Chiefs, whom he alleged are becoming ?tax collectors? of underground factions. This, he said, has to be immediately stopped. Shri Zhimomi further urged the general public to strengthen the hands of the Naga Hoho and the civil societies. Others who spoke were president Naga Council, Savi Legise, adviser NSF, Phusika Aomi, president DNSU, Solomom, Awomi and retired Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner T.N. Manen.
Earlier, the peace march started from City Tower junction and culminated at DDSC stadium where public leaders, NGOs and a large number of school and college students participated. The peace rallyists numbering more than 10,000 representing Village Council members, Ao Seden, Watsu mungdang, AKM, Ward Chairmen, Town Councils, various school students of Mokokchung town and Mokokchung public assembled at the main police point in the morning and proceeded towards Imkongmeren Sports Complex holding placards, banners and giving slogans such as ?We want peace, stop bloodshed, shun violence? etc.
Concluding the peace rally at the Imkongmeren Sports Complex, the vice president of all Nagaland GBs Federation, Chubakumzuk and president Ao Seden Temjenkaba called upon the people to work for bringing permanent peace in Nagaland. At Mon, the rally was held at the private Bus Stand where DC Mon Shri Dinesh Kumar said everybody should try to first bring peace in Nagaland, then only development would follow. He deliberated on the principle of non-violence and urged the Nagas to unite and join hands for a better tomorrow.
At Wokha, the Joint Forum Working Committee of Wokha district GBs and DBs Association organised a peace rally at local football ground. Deputy Commissioner Wokha, Mikha Lomi appealed to the people to show solidarity to fight against the gun culture in the society and to stand together and oppose fratricidal killing amongst the Naga brothers. He also appealed to all the leaders to think seriously and take positive steps to stop the long-term political problem.
The rally started from public ground and proceeded towards PWD and culminated at NST junction. More than 10,000 people from all walks of life attended the rally. From January till May 16, 2008, more than five-dozen people have been killed in factional fights. On May 16 it crossed all limits when 15 cadres of NSCN (unification) including one innocent Konyak villager were killed in fight with NSCN (IM). It was in this background that peace rallies were organised throughout the state.