DIMAPUR, July 4 - Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today issued a clarification on his statement on the integration of contiguous Naga areas, which was given in New Delhi on June 12.
In his clarification, Rio said he had said what was conveyed to him by the Centre when journalists had asked him about the integration issue. The Chief Minister has issued the clarification following reactions in the media on his statement after a delegation led by him met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other Central Government officials.
Rio regretted if �any section� had misunderstood the issue due to misinterpretation in sections of the media. He hoped that with this clarification, the matter would be put to rest.
The Chief Minister also urged all sections to continue to make collective efforts to bring the greater Naga family together in a spirit of oneness and unity for lasting peace.
Stating that negotiations have been going on for the last 21 years to resolve the Naga issue, Rio said it is the desire of the Naga people that an early solution should be arrived at.
�I had also clearly mentioned that the demand for integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas is genuine,� he said, while adding that the Government of India has recognised the genuineness of the demand. He stated that �that was the point in discussion,� which indicates that the issue was discussed in the meeting with the Centre.
�They are not my personal views, nor the views of the NDPP or the PDA Government,� Rio added. The Chief Minister said that his office had already clarified the matter on June 14 and the NDPP, too, clarified the issue on June 15.
Rio added that the PDA Government�s declared policy is to play the role of an active facilitator to the ongoing India-Naga peace process.
�We will continue to extend our support and cooperation for an early resolution to the decades-old imbroglio through a political agreement that is honourable and acceptable to the people,� Rio asserted.