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Desperately seeking peace

Kohima, Dec. 23: People here have begun a special prayer for peace and harmony, on the eve of Christmas-eve.

They sought divine intervention to stop corruption and militancy, the twin woes of Nagaland. In hope they sang, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” They also prayed for a better future for their children in a society free of anti-social activities and corruption.

The Catholic Church said people are unhappy with the corrupt political and bureaucratic elite.

In his Christmas message, James Thoppil, bishop of Kohima, head of Catholic Church in the state, said the new elite has made themselves rich at the expense of the poor.

“If traditional tribal values were practised, we would have had a better state and better standard of life. Today, one can only mourn the loss of opportunity and lack of vision,” he said.

Governor Ashwani Kumar, chief minister Neiphiu Rio, political parties, churches and different organisations have greeted the people on the occasion. But Christmas this year is dull because of several reasons like financial crisis and unabated taxation by militants.

Top leaders of militant groups have, however, wished the people a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.

In Zunheboto, the festive mood has been shattered because of atrocities committed by the NSCN (I-M) cadres led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

Thousands of people from all walks of life gathered at Zunheboto yesterday to protest against the molestation of two Christian missionaries from Arunachal Pradesh on December 21 morning near Zunheboto town.

The cadres had molested the two women and brutally assaulted their two male companions with iron rods and rifle butts.

The protest rally was attended by several NGOs, who strongly condemned the action of the cadres and demanded the cadres be handed over for justice or face non-cooperation by the people of Zunheboto, home to NSCN chairman Swu.

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