Friday, January 27, 2023

State funeral for late Dr Imtiwapang Aier


A State funeral was accorded to former Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) speaker Dr Imtiwapang Aier sitting MLA of 23 Impur assembly constituency at The Heritage (Old DC Bungalow) here Sunday afternoon. Late Imtiwapang Aier had passed away at a prayer centre in Dimapur on January 7 after a brief illness.
Speaking at the funeral service, NLA speaker Sharingain Longkumer described late Imtiwapang as a distinguished writer, a prolific reader and known for a sense of duty.
He recalled the life and works of late Imtiwapang and acknowledged his service to Nagaland Secretariat and noted also that by his noble deed, late Imtiwapang had left an indelible mark. Late Dr. Imtiwapang’s sudden demise was a great loss for Nagas, and that the void left would be difficult to fill said Speaker Sharingain.
The Speaker said late Imtiwapang who was also speaker NLA obtained PhD in Geology, but left his academic career to join politics and in his maiden foray, won the assembly election in 2013 from 23 Impur constituency on a Congress ticket. Late Imtiwapang was also parliamentary secretary of Geology and Mining and later became the speaker of the 12th NLA.
He was re-elected in the 2018 general election on an NPF ticket and later merged with the NDPP among the 21 NPF legislators. The Speaker on behalf of the 13th NLA, conveyed condolence to late Imtiwapang’s wife Kiehungle, children and other bereaved family members.
Planning &Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister Neiba Kronu offered condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the State government. He described late Aier as one of the most educated legislator in the State with a PhD.
Sharing his own experiences with the former speaker, Kronu said he was struck by late Dr. Imtiwapang’s humility and was in awe of how he dealt with every issue in a most cordial manner.
In his speech, Rural Development minister Metsubo Jamir described the former speaker as a “humble leader” and said that words were not enough describe his contribution over a lifetime. He said the passing away of late Aier had left a big void politically, personally and academically and which will be difficult to fill.
Former chief minister and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman TR Zeliang, who is also the co-brother in-law of late Dr. Imtiwapang, described him as an upcoming leader and one of the most promising young politicians whose principle was based on commitment, devotion and loyalty. He said Dr. Imtiwapang’s contribution as a speaker during DAN III was immense and that NLA was fortunate to have him.
Zeliang described Dr. Imtiwapang as a man of few words, but one who stood by his words, terming his demise as an “irreparable” loss to the entire Naga community.
The UDA chairman mentioned that Dr. Imtiwapang had served as a lecturer at Kohima Science College from 2000 to 2002 and guest lecturer at Nagaland University from 2005 to 2006. He had also worked as a senior research fellow (SRF) at New Delhi, was a recipient of Young Scientist IBC Award, 2011 from Cambridge University and had co-authored a series of national and international papers.
Speeches were also delivered by Sungratsu Senso Telongjem, Kohima president, and Kohima Aoer Telongjem (KAT), President. A brief account on late Dr. Imtiwapang Aier was shared by his wife Kiehungle, their daughter and retired IGP I Toshitsungba Aier.
Condolence messages from Nagaland governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi and chief minister Neiphiu Rio were also read out at the funeral.
The funeral service was chaired by NLA secretary in-charge Khruohituonuo Rio, prelude by Kewhira String Quartet and invocation pronounced by pastor Kohima Ao Baptist Arogo (KABA). Word of God and benediction was pronounced by State chaplin Rev TW Yamyap Konyak, followed by a guard of honour by DEF Kohima personnel.
Host of ministers, advisors, legislators, senior bureaucrats and others attended the funeral program and paid their last respects.
The body of late Dr. Imtiwapang Aier was later taken to his native Sungratsu village, where he will be laid to rest on January 9.
Hundreds of villagers, holding torches, from all walks of life received the body of late Dr. Imtiwapang on Sunday night. A banner was also put up at the village gate that read: “Welcome Home. Our great leader and path finder late Dr. Imtiwapang Aier.”

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