Kezoltsa issue: Mao Council welcomes APO’s proposed visit amid concerns in Kohima

Hopes visit will pave way for peace and constructive dialogue

Senapati, March 20 (MExN): The Mao Council (MC) has welcomed reports of the Angami Public Organisation’s (APO) decision to visit the disputed Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing areas on March 21, amid recent concerning developments in Kohima.

“We are pleased that the APO has decided to visit the site on March 21, and we are committed to providing assistance in any way possible,” stated Mao Council President N Athikho Joseph in an appeal letter to Tenyimi Peoples’ Organisation (TPO) President.
“Our hope and prayers are that wisdom will prevail, leading the way for peace and constructive dialogue,” it added.

Nevertheless, the MC noted in the letter that it was “troubled and saddened by the recent developments” in Kohima over the issue. 

As per the Council, while several Mao citizens in Kohima chose to leave the town, a few, including the sick and elderly, decided to stay behind, “relying on the TPO’s assurance” that they could remain as the “APO’s ultimatum requirements were met.”

However, while an APO meeting was underway on March 19, volunteers associated with the AYO (Angami Youth Organisation) badge allegedly went from house to house in search of Mao citizens. 

During the same, volunteers reportedly threatened Mao individuals to vacate their homes, the MC maintained.

Accordingly, the family of a 60-year-old stroke patient with limited mobility was “compelled to evacuate” immediately while a family with a 32-year-old individual with physical challenges was “reportedly threatened to vacate,” the MC stated.

On a separate occasion, a grieving family was allegedly prohibited from cleaning the graveyard following the passing of their mother on March 16, with the funeral the next day, it claimed. 

“Schools and colleges in Kohima managed by Mao’s were directed to close. However, it is crucial to reconsider this decision, considering the broader welfare of students from all Naga communities,” highlighted the MC President in the letter.

Accordingly, the letter stressed that to ‘foster trust between the Mao’s and Southern Angamis and address the enduring conflict at Dzüko and Kozürü, peace is imperative.’

It also highlighted that it had initiated measures to bolster confidence and had proactively acted upon the demands served in the ultimatum, including the restoration of a rest house, lifting of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and relocation of security personnel from the disputed area. These steps aimed at creating an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and resolution, and the TPO had inspected the area and confirmed that all these have been done, the Council added.

Accordingly, while welcoming the proposed APO’s visit, it expressed hope that wisdom would prevail, resulting in peace and constructive dialogue.