Year of change in leadership, border violence

Kohima: The year 2014 has been quite eventful for Nagaland. It began with a shock, when on January 3, police found the bodies of nine Karbis murdered at Pachaspura in Dimapur district.

The killings became a serious issue, forcing the government to take immediate steps by constituting a special investigating team.

The state’s border dispute with Assam, which claimed seven lives this year, still remains unsolved. The border between Dimapur in Nagaland and Karbi Anglong district of Assam witnessed violence in which 200 houses were torched by the Assam Police on July 19.

There were some key changes in the political arena too. TR Zeliang took over as chief minister on May 24 after his predecessor, Neiphiu Rio, was elected to the Lok Sabha on a Naga Peoples Front (NPF) ticket. Despite rumours about a possible change of guard, Zeliang continues to remain in power.

After Narendra Modi assumed power at the Centre, Ashwani Kumar, who was appointed by the UPA government, resigned as governor of the state. Veteran BJP worker Padmanabha Balkrishna Acharya was sworn in as governor-designate for Nagaland.

This year witnessed the historic visit of the Prime Minister of India to Nagaland, after a span of 10 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Nagaland on November 30. He officially inaugurated the Hornbill Festival and graced the 51st statehood day of Nagaland on December 1 at Kisama.

Another high profile visitor to the state in February, the Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindorm, was the chief guest at the Angami Sekrenyi festival held at Kisama. The event was organized by the Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO). The state also saw the visit of Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of Congress, in April. He campaigned in Kohima for the Lok Sabha elections.

Jual Oram, minister for tribal affairs, visited the state to launch the BJP nationwide membership drive.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan graced the golden jubilee celebration of the formation of Nagaland Legislative Assembly on November 29.

The Centre has sanctioned one medical college for Nagaland this year. The foundation stone for Nagaland’s first medical college in Kohima was laid by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio in March.

Twenty-two-year-old Veineinem Singsong was crowned as Miss Nagaland 2014 on November 7 at Jotsoma. She also holds the Miss Dimapur title.

This year’s Miss Nagaland pageant simultaneously commemorated 25 years of the title and the Beauty and Aesthetic Society of Nagaland (BASN).

The annual Hornbill Festival, held from December 1 to 10 at the Kisama Heritage Village, garnered both international and national attention this year. The tourism department recorded a inflow of 1,51,804 tourists of which 1110 were foreign tourists, 15,694 domestic and 1,35,000 local tourists.

Adam’s Apple, a band from Darjeeling, won the Hornbill International Rock Contest, 2014, taking home a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. The rock concert kicked up a storm with over 30,000 screaming spectators.

The picturesque Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, reverberated with splendid chants of ‘hoi hoi’ and traditional drum beats as the 10-day long Hornbill Festival of Nagaland concluded with customary gaiety, bringing another lively year to an end. – Times News Network

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