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1, 131 Rongmeis not in electoral roll, NTC points out

By EMN Updated: Oct 19, 2016 12:39 am

Dimapur, October 18 : The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) has issued a statement addressed to the Nagaland GBs Federation not to ‘distort or concoct’ laws when concerning issues that are in the interest of the ‘Nagas of Nagaland.’ With that, the NTC has stated that the ‘1131 Rongmei’ were not in the 1963 electoral roll, as official confirmation from the state government have shown.

The NTC issued a press release on Tuesday responding to what it stated was a statements of the Nagaland GB Federation in the media on October 13 besides a ‘similar item’ on the issue of recognition to the Rongmei community in the state.
The NTC has stated that the Naga citizens of Nagaland were in protest against the government for its decision to recognize the Rongmei community as an indigenous tribe of Nagaland.

“The Rongmei is recognized as Scheduled Tribe in the states of Manipur and Assam under the Schedule Tribe Order Act (of) 1950. The reason being that their ancestral lands are placed under these states jurisdiction,” the press release stated.

The NTC also disclosed that the government of Nagaland had on the 16th of August in 2002 had stated to the government of India that only 16 tribes were recognized in the state of Nagaland as Scheduled Tribes. They were the Ao, the Angami, the Chakesang, the Chang, the Kachari, the Khiamniungan, the Kuki, the Konyak, the Lotha, the Phom, the Pochury, the Rengma, the Sangtam, the Sumi, the Yimchunger, and the Zeliang.

“When the above mentioned list of tribes is the authenticated one in the state of Nagaland, what is the logic of trying to add more number of tribes from outside the state?” the NTC questioned.

Further, the organization declared that the claim of the current government of ‘supposedly having 1, 313 Rongmeis’ who were entered in the E-Roll of 1963 was nullified by the RTI reply given by the Joint Chief Election Officer of the Election department on the 12th of March, 2013; also by the assistant election officer of Peren on the 10th of January 2013.

“Both the authorities authenticated that none of the 1, 313 Rongmei voters were found in 1963 Electoral Roll. It is therefore misleading for anyone to claim that 1,313 Rongmei voters as valid. Many representations might have been submitted to the govt. of Nagaland by Rongmei community for recognition as an indigenous tribe in the state. However, considering the ground realities their case was not granted for inclusion as an indigenous tribe of Nagaland earlier,” the NTC stated.

The organization also clarified on the difference between indigenioous tribe and indigenous inhabitant. “Despite of reiteration of the difference between the Indigenous tribe and indigenous inhabitants in the state of Nagaland, some people are found continue (sic) to have confusion. Any other communities who have become domiciles in Nagaland since 1963 and are qualified under the notification No. AR-8/8/76 dated Kohima, the 28th April, 1977 is entitled to have indigenous inhabitant status but they cannot become indigenous tribe of Nagaland,” the organization reminded.

Having stated its contentions, the NTC has appealed to all in concern, be it organization or individuals, “not to distort or concoct the laws concerning the interest of the Nagas of Nagaland.”

By EMN Updated: Oct 19, 2016 12:39:07 am