Brig. (Retd) S.Singnya, Kedahge, Federal Government of Nagaland.
On this historic occasion of celebrating Naga Army Raising Day, Golden Jubilee, I greet you all on behalf of Naga Army and on my own behalf. I give thanks to our Almighty God who has protected and sustained us till this memorable day.
At this moment, I salute all our martyrs who gave their supreme sacrifice for the cause of our Nation and for whom we are remaining as a people and a Nation today. Heartily, I express my profound gratitude to all the living National Workers for remaining steadfast and upholding the National and Historical rights despite the tremendous hardships and afflictions that have befallen our people and engulfed our land.
When the atrocious actions of India on our people became unbearable, the NNC decided to maintain a Safeguard Force with Gen. Thonti Chang as Chief from 1955-1957. This was changed to Naga Home Guard with Gen. Kaito Sukhai as its Chief from 1957-1963. Due to necessity, the formal Naga National Army was declared on the 3rd January, 1964 after the return of Alee Command from East Pakistan in 1963. Gen. Mowu Gwizantsu was the Chief of Naga Army from 1964-1968. Gen. Thinoselie Keyho succeeded him and was the Chief from 1968-1971. Gen. Viyalie Metha was the Chief from 1971-1997 whose term was the longest. Lt. Gen. Menukhrielie Shorhie served from 1997-1998. After his demise, Lt. Gen. Lhipelo Alo became the Chief from 1998-2003.
Under the Kedahge, FGN Brig. Retd. S. Singnya, Lt. Gen. T.M. Rhakho is serving as the Dy. C-in-C of Naga Army from 16 April, 2006 up to date.
In defence of our land the Naga Army had bravely fought unaccountable number of battles with the Indian Army in the course of our history of conflict for the cause of freedom; thousands and thousands of our braves perished, thousands of our people were tortured using third degree method, unaccountable number of woman raped and molested. Many of our braves perished in Indian jails and the mortal remains are yet to be retrieved. The mortal remains of many braves even now lie scattered in foreign soils.
All these hardships and sufferings are because of defending our land and people. It is incomprehensible how villages and granaries were being burnt down and people grouped in concentration camps where many died of starvation. Countless numbers of our people were slaughtered like egad animals. This is the gravity of how our people suffered. The Nation is ever indebted to all braves who defended our land which the outside world never knows. We honour them and shall ever remember them.
Under these unimaginable situations, the Naga Army shot down a Dakota plane of IAF at Matikhru on 14th August, 1960 and arrested 9 crew members. In relaliation, 6 villages were entirely wiped out and the menfolk of Matikhru village were butchered. It is however note worthy that the crew members were civilly treated, escorted and safely deported to their homes. Crew member of this time are a living witness to this fact today. This is how the Naga Army combated occupation, domination and terrorism of India.
Following the partition of 1980 and further divisions later, fratricidal killings had affected our people and the national cause up to 2008. Because of these misadventures, our people became victims of divisiveness. However, I express that through the NNC/FGN, the 14th August Declaration of Independence, 1947 and the Plebiscite of 16th May, 1951, the uniqueness and the identity of Nagas as a nation is safeguarded to this day.
I am happy and thankful to God for giving me the privilege to be the Dy. C-in-C, Naga Army on this historic National Day. At this moment I congratulate all the recipients of Awards, Medals, Commendation and Promotion in the rank and file of Naga Army. Together we will continue to defend our land and our people till our will and goal is fulfilled.
May the Almighty God enable us to remain steadfast in our determination to be bearers of the will and aspiration of our people to be free and independent people in letter and spirit in the world comity.
May God bless Nagaland and the Naga Army.