Eastern Mirror Desk
Bhandari, May 10: Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton said on Friday that increase in the number of people with “doubtful origin” is a serious concern for the state in particular and the region in general; and owing to threat it can pose on the socio-economic and demography, ‘the present PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is serious about tackling the problem.’
The Dy. CM said this while addressing the delegates during the valedictory session of the 28th Naga Students’ Federation general conference on Friday, May 10 at Bhandari town in Wokha district.
Asserting that the NSF and government alone cannot resolve such an alarming issue (increase of illegal immigrants), he called for a concerted efforts and pro-active role of every stakeholder and urged every concerned citizen including civil societies to partake actively in containing illegal immigrant issue in the state. He went on to day that Nagaland will become another Tripura where 75% of the population are illegal immigrants.
Citing Mizoram as a model state to curb the menace of illegal immigrants, Patton called on every concern citizens to address this issue with their positive contribution as such issue cannot be curbed only by the government or by the student leaders. He assured the students’ community that the ‘PDA government is fully committed to look into the welfare and genuine concerns of the students and to encourage all the younger generations to work hard for academic excellence as there is no substitute for hard work in this competitive world.’
The minister assured them that he was willing to listen to their grievances and address their issue; that his door is open for them, anytime. He observed that ever since the inception of NSF, the federation has been an important stakeholder in the development of the state. The federation has contributed immensely towards the welfare and well-being of the students’ community in particular and the Naga society in general in line with its motto: “For Unified Lim and Glory of Nagas,” he asserted.
‘The contributions that the federation has made all along will be fondly remembered even in the days to come. NSF as a premier Naga students’ organisation has been confronted with varied challenges and in the course of changing times, the federation has not only focused in the prism of students’ welfare alone but has to voice out in socio-political issues and it has been taking up many such issues of late, Patton acknowledged. He went on to say that among many commendable issues that the federation has handled, the fight against illegal immigration is at the forefront.
Patton observed that NSF, as a student body, not only strives for the welfare and uplift the students’ community but also moulds young minds and leaders to lead the society. He expressed contentment at many former leaders of the federation becoming political leaders and shouldering different responsibilities in the state. “To my mind, it is a testament that leadership is not just a one-time responsibility but to be in the service at all time when called upon by the people,” he exhorted.
The Dy. CM, who began his political career from Bhandari town, recounted that the place has been a witness and a victim that has borne the brunt of the unfortunate confrontation with the neighbouring state in 1985, which he described as ‘significant’.
“Today, although much understanding has been gained for a peaceful co-existence through the initiatives of Border Peace Committee and civil societies from both the neighbouring states, the border issue has not been resolved as it is in sub judice. However, since peace is a pre-requisite for mutual growth, we must continue to uphold the peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing in the area till the matter is resolved amicably,” he opined. Therefore he persuaded the NSF and the younger generation to be actively involved in exploring peace along the border areas as well.
Patton asserted that the state was experiencing a relatively peaceful period with both the government of India and the Naga political groups engaging with one another in finding a permanent solution to the protracted Naga political problem. In this regard, he acknowledged that the theme of this year’s conference, ‘for a just future’, was not just appropriate but relevant and imperative. He affirmed that the PDA government will continue to support the peace process as a facilitator.
“Very recently, the Ceasefire Monitoring Group chairman has admitted that Nagaland is one of the most peaceful states in India, referring to the absence of violence involving the security forces and the armed Naga groups,” Patton said and congratulated the negotiating parties for this feat. Also, he challenged all the stakeholders, including the Naga public to continue this legacy of peace until a final solution that is honourable and acceptable to both sides is being worked out.
The minister concluded by reminding the NSF and the gathering to ponder upon the challenges faced by the people living in the border areas and the opportunities it offers in terms of social amity and economic opportunities that will benefit the people living on both sides.