KOHIMA, July 24 � In a significant development, the Nagaland Government has recommended to the Centre for creation of an autonomous council encompassing four border districts of the State in view of the demand by the Eastern Nagaland People�s Organisation (ENPO) for a separate �Frontier Nagaland.�
The decision to recommend the creation of the autonomous council under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio yesterday, officials said today.
The PMO had sought the State Government�s opinion after the ENPO submitted a memorandum to the Centre last year demanding the separate Frontier Nagaland which included four districts � Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire and Longleng � and six Naga tribes.
If the Centre approves of the State Cabinet�s proposal, the autonomous council would have the authority to administer the ENPO area and would have legislative, administrative and financial powers as per provisions of the Constitution.
Chief Secretary Lalthara said the Cabinet yesterday discussed the resolution adopted at a joint meeting of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland legislators and MPs on July 20, which had recommended the Government to create an autonomous council for areas falling within the jurisdiction of the ENPO.
The Cabinet decided to forward its proposal for creation of the autonomous council to the Government of India for consideration, he said.
The Chief Secretary said that the Cabinet recommendation had �certain historical background� that was reflected in the provisions of Article 371-A (2) of the Constitution.
Lalthara said the Government had on November 25, 2010 deliberated on the Prime Minister�s note, seeking the State�s views on the memorandum submitted by the ENPO, demanding a separate State comprising the four border districts.
Following this the Cabinet appointed a high-level official committee headed by the Chief Secretary to study the ENPO�s demand and the panel submitted its findings and recommendations to the State Government on May 23, 2011.
Subsequently, the Government constituted five sub-committees to pursue the official panel�s findings and these sub-committees had already begun work to find solutions and redress grievances and other problems of socio-economic backwardness in the border districts as highlighted by both the ENPO as well as in the report of the high-level official committee, the Chief Secretary said.
Lalthara said the Cabinet was of the view that the Government of India was expected to know what is the best way to resolve the issue (ENPO demand) keeping in view the larger interest of the Naga people. The State Cabinet, therefore, decided to request the Government of India to intervene in the matter by taking an early decision so that further problems did not arise in a State �which is already faced with multiple problems,� he said. � PTI