A meeting was held after the walkathon in Tuensang on Friday.

Dimapur: The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) kick-started the first phase of its agitation in the form of a public walkathon to demand a “Frontier Nagaland” state on Friday.

The walkathon was held in support of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation’s demand for a separate “Frontier Nagaland” state in all the tribal headquarters, administrative headquarters and sub-divisions in eastern Nagaland.

The seven federating units of ENSF – Chang Wedoshi Setshang, Konyak Students’ Union, Khiamniungan Students’ Union, Phom Students’ Conference, Tikhir Students Union, United Sangtam Students’ Conference, Yimkhiung Akherü Arihako and 63 “orchestrated clusters” consisting of 451 subordinate student bodies – participated in the walkathon.

Besides, the ENSF said, people from all walks of life, including leaders of civil societies, church, village elders and the public, also took part.

It said the participants in different areas, holding placards, marched to the nearest “cluster hubs” where they held brief meetings.

The chronology and background on the demand for “Frontier Nagaland” were explained in respective tribal vernacular languages by the student leaders.

The ENSF said the walkathon saw the participation of more than three lakh people in different parts of eastern Nagaland, which is said to be the biggest walkathon in the history of eastern Nagaland.

The federation expressed appreciation to all its seven federating units and subordinate bodies and the public for their active participation. It urged them to maintain the same zeal in the future, saying it is the responsibility of all the denizens of eastern Nagaland to demand a separate state which is based on “our constitutional and historical rights”.

ENSF president Chingmak Chang, in his address, stressed on socio-economic and political aspects of eastern Nagaland, which, he said, has been deprived of development by various leaders and the government. He said the denizens of eastern Nagaland are never embraced as brethren rather they are treated as second-class citizens of the state.

Chang said the easternmost region of Nagaland bordering Myanmar remained a poverty-stricken remotest land with no plausible sign of development and the largest number of educated unemployed youth, pathetic road conditions, lack of human resource development and infrastructure even 59 years after Nagaland attained statehood.

The federation affirmed that it will remain steadfast and consistent till its demand for a separate state is met.

It also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modis’ immediate intervention over its demand. After the walkathon, the federating units of the ENSF submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the respective deputy commissioners of eastern Nagaland districts in support of “Frontier Nagaland” state.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: