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Op-Ed

Memorandum of Nagaland Tribes Council to Chief Minister of Nagaland

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By EMN Updated: Mar 19, 2018 8:53 pm
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Hon’ble Sir,
At the outset, the NTC expresses its delight to you for the official invitation extended to NTC to be a part of the swear-in ceremony of your ministry at Raj Bhavan and we look forward to have meaningful audition to share our concern on the crucial issues at hand. The NTC is obliged to draw your kind attention to the following issues for favour of positive response in the interest of the bonafide citizens of the state.

1. Rongmei recognition:
The NTC had represented to the State Government for total revocation of the State Govt Notification NO. HOME/SCTA-6/ 2007 (PT-1) dated Kohima the 4th Aug/2012 granting “Rongmeis as one of the Naga Tribes” entitling them the benefits of Indigenous tribe in the State of Nagaland in contravention to the fact finding committee report. The NTC maintained that land and people are synonymous and cannot be separated. Records are clear that Rongmeis have no ancestral land in Nagaland, and therefore they cannot be given indigenous Naga tribe status in Nagaland. Despite protest and repeated representations by the indigenous tribes of Nagaland, the State Government remains adamant to the voice of the people. The NTC once again urges your honour to take heed and respond positively to the general desire of the people and bring the issue to a logical conclusion.

2. The Nagaland Special Development Zone (NSDZ): The DAN Govt. adopted NSDZ on 24.3.2014 under which the foothill areas within the state of Nagaland will be earmarked for the so called special development zones. Within the cadastral areas, the special protective laws of Nagaland such as Article 371A, ILP and Nagaland Land and Revenue (amendment) Act, 1978 shall not be applicable. The NSDZ will become free zone for anyone from any race, own and pursue any business without restriction. The whole intention of NSDZ is to curve out the plain sector of Nagaland State for outsiders for permanent settlement. Such decision is anti-state and suicidal for the present and posterity. It should therefore be revoked without further delay.

3. The Nagaland Land and Revenue (amendment) Act, 1978: NTC had urged the State Government to implement Government notification No. LAW-213/78 dated Kohima, the 30th of September, 1978 in letter and in spirit in order to protect the inherent right of indigenous people, its land and properties and safe guard the indigenous people of the State from external exploitations.

The “Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act 1978” which received the assent of the Governor on the 29th of September, 1978 amended the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886 and extended to the whole of Nagaland State to protect and preserve the land that belongs to the indigenous and vulnerable people of the state. The Sub-Section (2) of the Act stated “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law, usage, contract or agreement no person (other than the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland) shall acquire or posses by transfer, exchange, lease, agreement of settlement of any land in any area or areas constituted into belts or blocks in contravention of the provisions of Sub-Section (1) Sub-Section (3) of the Act stated that “From and after the commencement of Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act, 1978, no document evidencing any transaction for acquisition or possession of any land by way of transfer, exchange, lease, agreement or settlement shall be registered under the Indian Registration Act, 1908 if it appears to the registering authority that the transaction has been effected in contravention of the provisions of Sub-Section (2).

The Nagaland Village and Tribal Councils Act, 1978 had categorically empowered the Village Council to be the custodian of landed properties vide Section 15, Sub-Section (1)(g) which read “no transfer of immovable properties shall be effected without the consent of the Village Council. Written record of this shall be maintained by the Village Council”.

The people of Nagaland do salute those elected leaders during whose time this law was enacted for protection on our ownership over the lands that belonged to, we, the indigenous people of Nagaland. Much water had flowed during the last 39 years since the law came into effect. The NTC is apprehensive that we have gone awry with the law all the while. The NTC therefore urges upon the Government to implement the law in letter and in spirit. The NTC once again urges the Government of the day to send necessary instructions to the concern Deputy Commissioners, Revenue Officers and Village authorities to strictly adhere to the law and protect our land and properties.

4. Intanki National Park: In view of its great importance to ecological balance, preservation of forest and wild life, the Governor in council declared the formation of Ntangki Reserved Forest with an approximate area of 44,800 acres in a Notification No.1186R Dated 7 May 1923, to be effective from 15 June 1923. By another Notification No.2005R Dated 18 July 1927, the Governor in council further attached another 5,120 acres of forest land to be added to the Ntangki Reserved Forest w.e.f. 15 August 1927. Later, the Government of Nagaland through a Notification No.ROP-158/74 Dated Kohima, 22 April 1975 declared the Ntangki Reserved Forest comprising an area of 20,202 hectares as wild life sanctuary, and named it as Ntangki Wildlife Sanctuary with effect from 1 April 1975. The Government of Nagaland through another Notification No.FOR-43/83 Dated 3 March 1993 again re-christened Ntangki Wildlife Sanctuary as Ntangki National Park. It is a known fact that there have been rampant encroachments on the area of this invaluable asset of ours. Also there has been devastation of forest by private individuals in connivance with all type of elements. The NTC reported the matter to the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment and sought its immediate intervention but there is no immediate responds. The NTC therefore urges upon the State Government not to remain helpless spectator to these destructive activities but rise to protect the National Park without delay.

5. Extension of BEFR Act. to cover the entire administrative jurisdiction of Nagaland: The Bengal Eastern-Frontier Regulation Act of 1873 under which the Inner Line Permit was provided for the State of Nagaland. The NTC submitted its representation to the State Government to bring Dimapur Areas under the purview of ILP as Dimapur is inalienable part of Nagaland and the entire State jurisdiction is a tribal belt and equally vulnerable. The NTC therefore urges the Government of the day to take necessary steps to enforce Inner Line Regulation system all over the state.

6. Gaidinliu Memorial Hall at Kohima: The Chief Minister of Manipur had rightfully claimed that Gaidinliu was the daughter of Manipur’s soil since she belonged to Tamenlong. Whatever it may be, venerations accorded to her already or to be accorded to her in future by anyone outside Nagaland is not the botheration of NTC. Yet, Gaidinliu was solely responsible for murdering those NNC cadres in 1965 and she is anti-Naga. The NTC will never allow Nagaland to be converted into a launching pad for such cult leader or alien culture of idol worship while reaffirming its opposition against deification of Gaidinliu in Nagaland, the NTC urges Government of Nagaland to re-name the building and use the infrastructure for meaningful purpose.

7. Revocation of Disturb Area Act: The NTC questioned the wisdom of government of India as to how ceasefires entered into and political dialogue continued when its legal weapons such as AFSPA and all anti-terror laws are forced on the people giving the armed forces special powers to search, raid and arrest without a warrant, causing untold hardship and putting law and order in peril as though it is a terrorist infested State. “In other words, olive branches were offered to peace loving Naga political groups on one hand whereas war has been waged against all those who are in ceasefire. Peace and War are never of the same, and the two cannot go together. If peace is to be given a place, war has to pave the way. Similarly, if GOI is at all honest and sincere at ceasefire and dialogue, the Disturb Area Act, an action of suppression, cannot be imposed on Nagaland any longer. This double standard policy of GOI proves that Nagaland was brought to its Union to be suppressed indefinitely.” The NTC urges the State Government to take immediate steps and impress upon the GOI to revoke extension of ‘terrorism tag’ of Disturb Area Act in the entire state of Nagaland.

8. Objection to Uniform Civil Code: Nagaland is wholly a tribal state, and the State came into being under Constitution (13th Amendment) Act, 1962, following an agreement arrived in July 1960 in between the Govt. of India and the erstwhile Naga People’s Convention. That, the Constitutional protection of the religious, social, customs and practices of the Nagas is thus enshrined under Art. 371A of the Constitution of India, the personal and social life of the Nagas both men and women in the State remains well contented under the un-codified social, customs and practices. That, our way of life since time immemorial is quite distinct from the people in the mainland India, and Uniform Civil Code, if introduced, we shall be subjected to alien culture and social practices by compulsion under the law, and the enacted law if enforce upon us, our personal and social life shall be subjected to extinction. That, the Nagaland Tribes Council having unanimous public mandate, and in view of the predicament, earnestly request that the State of Nagaland take up with the Union Law Commission and the appropriate authority to excluded Nagaland from the purview of Uniform Civil Code so that, the inalienable provisions of Article 371A of the Constitution of India remain undisturbed

Sd/-
Lendinoktang Ao, President, NTC;
Nribemo Ngullie, General Secretary, NTC

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By EMN Updated: Mar 19, 2018 8:53:16 pm