At a time when the Naga Peace Talks are said to be at an advanced stage, demand for a separate state called Frontier Nagaland is gaining momentum, so much so that the Centre has been forced to form a multi-disciplinary committee to look into the issues and concerns of the districts of Eastern Nagaland.

The multi disciplinary committee has been tasked with holding meetings with the tribal bodies and civil society organizations of all the districts of Eastern Nagaland.

The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation or the ENPO has been seeking a separate state since 2010 and the demand has gained momentum in the last couple of months. Realizing that the demand for a separate state could not be ignored further, the Centre had in August formally invited the ENPO for talks.

Subsequently on August 13, an ENPO delegation held talks with Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba in New Delhi.

Following the meeting, the MHA reportedly assured the ENPO that its demands will be taken up for talks at the political level.

While the ENPO is yet to officially react to the Centre’s decision to form a Multi-Disciplinary Committee to look into its concerns, it has directed its respective district and block units to refrain from submitting any scheme or project proposal to the Committee which has already started its tour of Eastern Nagaland districts.

The ENPO had served a deadline to the Centre to respond to its demands following which it was invited for talks.

It may be mentioned that under the aegis of ENPO, several rallies were organized in Eastern Nagaland reiterating to stand by the August 24, 2012 resolution demanding the creation of separate Frontier Nagaland state.

The developments can prove critical at a time when the Centre is pushing for an early solution to the vexed Naga Political issue.

Meanwhile, the Centre’s multi-disciplinary team held meetings with groups from Eastern Nagaland including the ENPO at Kohima.

ENPO president K Yimchunger said that the group will seek clarification on whether the committee has been formed on the basis of the memorandum, the ENPO had submitted with the Centre. The memorandum, he said, clearly specifies statehood as the ENPO’s main demand.