Ao Senden Urges Nagaland Government To Pass Resolution Against Forest Conservation Bill - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Ao Senden urges Nagaland government to pass resolution against forest conservation bill

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Aug 10, 2023 1:11 am
The Ao Senden has urged the “government of Nagaland to summon a special Assembly session and immediately pass a resolution” against its implementation in the state in exercise of the Article 371(A)
Ao Senden urges Nagaland government to pass resolution against forest conservation bill
Neiphiu Rio (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Terming the passing of the contentious Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act 2023 as “unfortunate”, the Ao Senden has urged the “government of Nagaland to summon a special Assembly session and immediately pass a resolution” against its implementation in the state in exercise of the Article 371(A).

“Some of the proposed exemptions in the amended Act, particularly the 100km exemption for environmental clearance for forests along international borders to be used for construction of strategic linear projects of national importance, and those concerning national security, is a serious matter of concern with the potential to cause unrest in the northeastern states in general and Nagaland in particular,” read the press release.

Claiming that the amended Act will expose “our lands” to arbitrary diversion as the government don’t have to obtain prior consent from village councils and local district authorities, it said this will speed up the destruction of forests in the rich, biodiverse regions of the northeast.

For Nagas, it is more than an environmental or social issue as land belongs to the people and every village has authority over its land, said the Ao Senden, adding that ‘lawmakers in New Delhi making arbitrary laws for us without our knowledge and consent to usurp our land is undemocratic and unacceptable’.

It also accused the Centre of making majoritarian policies by undermining the rights of the minority communities and Indian federalism.

Bill not a threat to Nagaland, says CM

Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday said on the sidelines of an event in Kohima that the forest conservation bill isn’t a threat to the state as it is protected by Article 371 (A).

He also pointed out that hardly 5% of the forest in the state belongs to the government and the remaining 95% belongs to the individuals or the community.

Meanwhile, he said the state government will further study the controversial bill but doesn’t see it as a threat at the moment.

On the Naga People’s Front legislature party leader and MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu’s demand for a special session or discussion in the upcoming session on the bill, Rio said that anybody can raise the issue and it can be discussed.

Also read: Nagas urged to strengthen Article 371(A)

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Aug 10, 2023 1:11:52 am
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