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Students to celebrate Naga I-Day on August 14, hoist own ‘national flag’


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Chennai:

GUWAHATI: Taking the lead in the celebration of 73rd “Naga Independence Day”, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) in Nagaland will hoist the “Naga national flag” on August 14.

The NSF, which is the apex students’ body of the state, said the flag would be hoisted to commemorate “Naga identity”. Usually, the state’s myriad insurgent groups hoist the flag at their camps on August 14 to celebrate Naga independence.

“The flag will be hoisted in all Naga-inhabited areas of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. This will be in commemoration of our identity, history etc. This is the celebration of our identity. The celebration, however, does not mean we are against India,” NSF president Ninoto Awomi told this newspaper.

The students’ body took the help of media to direct all its units across the state to hoist the flag at all strategic locations and share pictorial evidence of the same. Awomi said the flag would be hoisted by students and leaders of various social organisations.

Alarmed by the move, the state government has already approached the students’ body.

“The government is constantly monitoring us. The Commissioner of Nagaland came to us the other day and enquired about our programme. We said we are going to do this to commemorate Naga identity and that there is nothing against India,” Awomi said. 

The Naga National Council (NNC), the first rebel group of the state to have waged an armed struggle against Government of India to secure Naga sovereignty, has come out in support of the NSF.

Describing the move as a “just and wise decision”, the NNC suggested the NSF to hoist the original Naga national flag. It was hoisted for the first time on March 22, 1956. The rebel groups in the state say the Nagas had asserted their inherent right of independence on August, 14, 1947.