Kohima, 20 December (MTNews): The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), rooted in the historical Naga Club Building in Kohima, has declared its decision on ‘upsizing’ its office to the Naga Solidarity Park starting from December 20, 2023. This decision is in alignment with the resolution adopted during the NSF Emergency Federal Assembly held on December 14, 2023.
Recent developments have seen the Angami Public Organization (APO) and Kohima Village Council (KVC) reiterating their decision, dated June 28, 2023, directing the NSF to vacate the Naga Club Building by December 31, 2023. This decision follows the unfortunate vandalization of the NSF office in the Naga Club Building on May 27, 2023.
According to the NSF, the present Naga heritage site in Kohima, which houses the Naga Club Building, has for years stood as a symbol of Naga people’s resilience, with a legacy bearing witness to countless turns in historic proportion, including the Naga Plebiscite on May 16, 1951.
Noting that the odyssey of the Nagas has been marked with several challenges, costly sacrifices, and difficult decisions along the way, the NSF said it was during one of these most turbulent years that the Naga Students’ Federation came to dutifully occupy and preserve the symbol of Naga heritage, which stood majestically despite its agedness, following the legacy of leaders like Late Vizolie Sorhie, among other conscious keepers of that time.
“It may be noted that in 1983, when Late Vizolie Sorhie became the President of NSF, he and his team were approached by Naga Club office bearers and Naga Elders Conference to reclaim the Naga Club building, which was then occupied by the Forest Department,” stated the NSF. However, the federation said that despite several attempts made to reclaim the same, the Department still refused to hand over the building to the rightful owner – the Naga Club.
“Subsequently, NSF led by Late Vizolie Sorhie, President NSF, Late Mechimvu Ritse, Finance Secretary NSF, Eno. Neingulo Krome, Member-Action Committee NSF, and Eno, Kewezu G. Kenye, President ANCSU went and broke open the lock and occupied the Naga Club building in April 1983. Following which, Mr. Neivor Rutsa volunteered his vehicle bearing Registration No. NLT-309 to assist in shifting NSF office to the Naga Club building,” it continued.
According to the federation, it was agreed upon that there was a “Mutual Understanding” that the building will always belong to Naga Club, and NSF will be the guardian and custodian of the building according to the demands of situations.
“Even after the occupation of the Naga Club Building by the NSF, the Government of Nagaland issued eviction orders 3 times consecutively; however, the NSF continued to stand its ground. Since then and now, for the last 40 years, the Naga Club building has housed the office of NSF, keeping alive the legacy of the Heritage and its noble symbol to hold the emerging Naga family together across the Naga homeland at all times,” it added.
Recently, the NSF received a letter dated December 9, 2023, from the Office of the Angami Public Organization (APO) and Kohima Village Council (KVC), where the correspondence reaffirmed its decision dated 28.06.2023 as “irreversible, deemed just and unbiased,” and that NSF office at Naga Club building, Kohima should be vacated on or before the 31st of December 2023.
Acknowledging the public appeal and mediation efforts of APO and KVC, the NSF, in response, has decided to relocate its office to the Naga Solidarity Park, Kohima, starting from December 20, 2023, until an honorable and suitable arrangement is arrived at.
While the Angami Public Organization will continue to be the custodian of the Naga Club Building until an honorable closure to the imbroglio, inclusive of all Nagas, is reached, the NSF expressed its commitment to unity and the collective well-being of the Naga people. The federation said it looks forward to a harmonious resolution that preserves the historical significance of the Naga Club building and fosters a shared sense of heritage and identity across the Naga homeland.