The commander-in-Chief, all Rank and File of the Naga Army, Fellow National Workers, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On this auspicious day of the 54th Naga Army Raising Day, I extend my heartiest greetings to all the
Rank and File of the Naga Army for a prosperous New Year, 2017 and call upon each and everyone to give thanks to Almighty God for all blessings He had bestowed us all.
Looking back over 62 years past (1954-2016) of conflict with India, in the beginning Naga Youth voluntarily stood up to defend our country from the invading Indian Armed Forces. Our Youth firstly organized themselves as VOLUNTEERS. And after sometime when the situation became more demanding as enemy forces intensified; Volunteer was renamed and called SAFE GUARD and the Indian Army had the first heavy encounter on June 11, 1956 in Kohima. Later on the Naga Home Guard was made full-fledge standing Army as NAGA ARMY on 3rd January, 1964. Thus the Naga Army fought and defend our country against the invading Indian Army till an International Ceasefire Agreement was signed between the Federal Government of Nagaland and Government of India in 1964, ending nearly ten years of India’s undeclared war against Nagaland.
During the war, the Indian Armed Forces made the Naga Civilians their first target. Our civilians were tortured, put in jail, forced to carry their ration and war materials, mass arrest of villagers, mass flogging and villages hoarded into concentration camps were a common practice. Our houses, granaries and churches burnt; our crops destroyed. Our women molested, raped, maimed and even killed; old men, old women and children were beaten with gun butts and kicked; children mishandled and thrown to death. More than 100,000 Naga civilian lost their lives due to starvation, shooting, shelling, and bombardment of civilian populated areas. India expected and hope to drive out Naga civilian as refugees elsewhere by committing heinous war crime against Nagaland. But our people were resilient and reclaimed our respective villages.
In the Indo-Naga war, the Naga Army maintained clean and unblemished record in accordance with the UN Resolution of Geneva Convention 1949. That is:
1. The Naga Army never kill or harass any Indian civilian.
2. Never tortured or mistreated enemy prisoners of war.
3. Honour our words and maintained restraint and not violated the Ceasefire Agreement till today.
The Federal Government of Nagaland adheres to the policy of peace and nonviolence. We do not want any more bloodshed in our land. However lack of reprisal over all provocative activities of the enemy should not be taken as a weakness but is an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the eventualities that will sooner or later be answerable by India.
As true soldier of the Nation, The Naga Army had not only braved the mighty enemy forces but also achieved many successful Alee Commands treading bare-footed to Pakistan and China. Our Nation is proud today because of your sacrifices. In the course of this journey many precious lives were lost and today we remember their sufferings and sacrifices for our Nation and for us. Above all, the Naga Army had done what was expected of you. So once again I say ‘well done’ Naga Army.
Nagaland withstood the odds and stands as a Nation today because of your bravery, dedication and sacrifice. Let the same integrity, intrepidity and perseverance prevail in you to uphold and defend our Nation. So God may continue to bless and keep Nagaland.