Angami students to discuss lifting of Nagaland Liquor Act in CM’s native village

Kohima: The Angami Students’ Union (ASU), apex student body of the Angami tribe, is set to provide a platform for students to debate on if ‘it is time to lift’ the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, as part of its 30th Biennial general conference to be held at chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s native village-Tuophema, from April 28-30.

The recently concluded G20 business meet held in Kohima not only permitted the sale of liquor to foreign delegates but also reignited talks among residents of the state on if the NLTP Act is a hit or a miss. 

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Notably, the NLTP Act of 1989 totally prohibits the possession, sale, consumption and manufacture of liquor, import and export, in the State of Nagaland.

Not missing out on the trending topic, the convenor of the ASU conference, Kelhouneizo Yhome told reporters on Tuesday that the 3-day conference will serve as a platform for the student community, which represents the future of the state, to voice their opinion on the issue.

Addressing a press conference at the ASU conference in Kohima, Yhome said that over 2000 student delegations from four ranges-Western, Southern, Northern, and Chakhroma, are expected to attend the conference. 

While the student body stands in full support of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) in regard to the implementation of the Act, Yhome said that the ground reality in the ‘dry state’ and the effectiveness of the Act needs to be checked. 
“We are not against the Act but it is time to discuss the Act,” he said, adding that despite the ban on liquor, several lives have been “destroyed” due to the consumption of liquor.

Following the debate on “If it is time to lift the NLTP Act”, he said that a recommendation based on the outcome of the debate would be submitted to the chief minister and the state government. 

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Co-convenor Neidilhoutuo Sechü informed that the Principal of Japfü Christian College, Visakono Hibo, will be the critique of the debate while the debate will be judged by President of Kohima Press Club (KPC) Alice Yhoshü, former journalist Sebastian Zumvü, and Neivikuolie Nicholas Khatsu.

Sechü told reporters that the topic for the debate was chosen due to its relevance. The other topic, he said, was on the Urban Local Body (ULB) elections with 33% women reservation, however, due as the civic body polls were called off, and the student body decided to deliberate on the NLTP Act to understand the perspective of students on the issue.

ASU advisor Vizokho Zashümo informed that a total of eight students, two each representing the four ranges, will be debating on the topic on the second day of the conference. Nagaland’s first female legislators, minister of women resource development & Horticulture, Salhoutuonuo Kruse, and Advisor of Industries and Commerce, Hekani Jakhalu Kense, will grace the conference as special guests for the inaugural and valedictory sessions respectively.

MLA Dr Tseilhoutuo Rhutso, Advisor of School Education & SCERT Kekhrielhoulie Yhome, and Rev Fr Pezalhoukho George Rino will grace the inaugural, academic, and devotional sessions respectively. 

The general conference of the Angami students will be held under the theme “Rational integrity”. Besides frontal Angami organizations, student representatives from the Ao, Sumi, Chakhesang, Lotha, Pochury, Rengma, and Zeliangrong tribes, and the Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation (ENSF) will also be attending the conference as session guests. 

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As ASU has extended non-cooperation to the office of the incumbent Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) over the issue of doctors’ superannuation, Yhome informed that the organizing committee of the conference did not include the NSF in the schedule. He however hoped that the issues between the two student bodies would soon be resolved.

In this regard, ASU President Bisevi Nakhro informed that several rounds of talks were being held with the NSF to settle differences. 

Also Read | Nagaland: Medical college at Kohima gets permit to begin MBBS course

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