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Church resents NPF advice

Kohima, Dec. 14: The Baptist Church has refuted the suggestion of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) that the Church should detach itself from Naga politics.

Terming the statement of NPF president Shurhozelie as “dangerous”, Rev. Kari Longchar, a senior member of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, the largest church organisation in the state, said it was not done in good taste.

He said the Church has played a major role in brokering peace amongst Naga militants groups and ushering peace in the state. Rev. Kari said it was the Church’s duty to work for peace.

The Opposition Congress has also blasted the statement of NPF president stating that the Church has played major role in ushering peace in the state since 1960s.The party said the contribution of the Church should be acknowledged rather than trying to push it away.

On the other hand, the Joint Legislators’ Forum has invited members of the Church and Naga apex organisations to attend the proposed meeting of the forum to discuss the Naga political solution.

The Baptist Church had played a major role in brokering peace between the Centre and Naga militant groups, which resulted in the signing of the 1964 ceasefire and the subsequent six rounds of talks between the Centre and the Federal Government of Nagaland. However, the talks collapsed and the Centre annulled the ceasefire in 1972.

The first ceasefire was signed owing to the initiatives of members of the church council, Rev. Michael Scott from Canada and former chief minister of Assam P.B. Chaliha.