NAGA PEOPLE'S CONVENTION (NPC)
Nagaland was just a district in the State of
Assam until 1957, known to others as "The Naga Hills". Not satisfied with such
an obscure status, the leaders of various Naga tribes, in August 1957, formed the Naga
Peoples Convention (NPC). In its first session held at Kohima on August 21, 1957,
under the Presidentship of Late Dr. Imkongliba Ao, the NPC proposed the formation of a
separate administrative unit by merging the Tuensang division of NEFA with Naga Hills
District. The Government of India agreed to the proposal and on December 1, 1957, the new
administrative unit known as the Naga Hills and Tuensang Area (NHTA) was inaugurated. In
July 1960, a delegation of the NPC met the then Prime Minister of India, the late
Jawaharlal Nehru and a 16 point agreement was arrived at, which inter-alia provided for
the formulation of a separate State for the Nagas within the Indian Union to be known as
"Nagaland" under the Ministry of External Affairs with a Governor and an
Administrative Secretariat, a Council of Ministers and Legislative Assembly. (In 1972, the
State was brought under the Ministry of Home Affairs).
February 18, 1961 an Interim Body of 42 members was constituted. This was to function as
the de-facto legislature. It included a five-member Executive Council headed by a Chief
Executive Councilor. This functioned as de-facto Council of Ministers. Dr. Imkongliba Ao,
who was the first Chairman of the Naga Peoples Convention, was appointed the first
Chairman of the Interim Body. Mr. P. Shilo was appointed the Chief Executive Councilor and
eventually became the first Chief Minister of Nagaland. On August 21, 1962 the then Prime
Minister Pandit Nehru introduced a Bill in the Parliament for the formation of Nagaland as
a full-fledged State. The Act provides for the formulation of the State of Nagaland as the
16th State in the Indian Union, and on December 1, 1963, President Dr. S.
Radhakrishnan inaugurated the State of Nagaland. The late Mr. Vishnu Sahay became the
first Governor of Nagaland.
Pending the first General Election, a Caretaker Government was
formed with Mr. P. Shilo as the Chief Minister. Four other Ministers namely Mr. Hokishe
Sema, Mr. Akum Imlong, Mr. R.C Chiten Jamir and Mr. J.B. Jasokie were also appointed to
complete the cabinet.
On 20th August, 1961, Dr. Imkongliba Ao was shot and wounded at
Mokokchung by an underground gunman while he was on his way home from his pharmacy. He was
taken to the Army Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on 22nd August 1961.