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Peace rallies held in Nagaland

Thousand of people held rallies all district HQ towns demanding immediate halt to the "senseless" factional killings that jeopardized lives and property of people in the state.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Kohima
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2008 03:12 PM IST

The mounting cry for peace was loud and clear when civil demonstrations across hills and valleys in Nagaland on Tuesday decried violence perpetrated by rival Naga underground factions in the name of a political struggle.

Thousand of people took out protest rallies in all district headquarters towns demanding immediate halt to the "senseless" factional killings that jeopardized lives and property of people in the state, particularly in and around Dimapur.

The rallies organized by Joint Forum of Gaonburhas (village chiefs) and Dobhashis (interpreters) Associations also asked the underground cares to immediately vacate residential areas and shift to their respective designated camps to give peace a chance in the state.

At Kohima, addressing the rally, state Home minister Imkong Imchen asked the underground groups to immediately vacate civilian places and declare cease-fire among themselves respecting the sentiments of the people.

"The present culture of AK-47 cannot resolve Naga political problem, but only through peace negotiations with a united voice with the Centre, a solution to the prolonged problem can be found," Imkong said.

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.

"Today Naga youth can not do anything because of the excesses committed by national workers. Where we are heading for ? What is the future of our students ? he asked.

Hundreds of people, mostly school and college students, marched through the street of Kohima before thronging the local Ground. Markets also remained closed during the rally.

At Dimapur, the peace rally was held at stadium ground which was addressed by Nagaland commissioner H K Khulu and former Nagaland commissioner T N Mannen. Respective deputy commissioners also addressed peace demonstration in other district towns, official sources said.

Dobhashis (DBs) and Gaonburhas (GBs), the grass root level administrative set ups in the state, are governed by the office of Nagaland commissioner. Under leadership of former commissioner, the Joint Forum of DBs and GBs initiated unity move among warring underground groups and accordingly in December last they signed a peace deal.

"But to our surprise, the peace agreement was signed to be forgotten within three months when they started senseless killings among themselves", Forum adviser Zeneivi Chase said.

The forum, he said, would review this peace deal on May 27 at a meeting with the underground groups.

At least 40 people were killed and many houses set ablaze during the past two months in and around Dimapur in the worst ever turf war between rival NSCN groups in the name of Naga political movement.

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