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CM’s ‘ignorance’ is betrayal of trust: UNTABA

By EMN Updated: Oct 11, 2014 12:55 am


Appalled by Chief Minister TR Zeliang’s admission that Nagaland has a ‘weak case’ in court on the border issue, United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA) said the Chief Minister’s ignorance on the issue amounts to betraying the trust of the Nagas and advised him to step down from his post. “The matter has compounded by the ignorance of the present Chief Minister for which he should be well advised to step down for completely betraying the trust of the Naga people,” UNTABA said in a press release today.
According to the UNTABA, the Chief Minister is either ignorant about the rich history of the Naga people and its land and the historical circumstances about the formation of the Nagaland Statehood under the Constitution of Indian 13th Amendment Act of 1962, under which Naga people were offered Statehood on a platter. “Or, he is simply diverting the real issue at hand instead of confronting the issue head-on. This is unbecoming and completely irresponsible being the head of the State,” it added.
UNTABA said that contrary to the Chief Minister’s claim, the Naga people have enough and readily available historical documents at hand even pertaining to those prior to the advent of British Administration in Naga Hills, based on which the UNTABA had published a booklet titled ‘A Brief Historical Account of Naga Lands in Assam’ which was also made available both in hard and soft copies to the office of the Chief Minister for his perusal.
“To refresh the memory of those concerned, Nagaland, as the 16th State in the Union of India was created without giving definite boundary demarcation even though it was demanded by the Naga People’s Council (NPC) in their Demand No. 12 and No. 13 of 16 Point Memorandum,” the press note of UNTABA said, adding, “Instead, the NPC was referred to the provisions of Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution of India which prescribes the procedures for Inter-State boundary demarcation, inter alia, transfer of areas from one State to another, paving the way for the NPC to address the issue in due course of time”. However, even after 51 years of the formation of Nagaland as a State, successive Governments of Nagaland have deliberately failed to raise the issue in the right perspective, it rued.
According to UNTABA, taking the inability of the Government of Nagaland as an undue advantage, the Government of Assam filed the case in the Supreme Court of India way back in 1988 insisting the 1925 notification of the then British Government of India, the notification of which is nothing but the paper demarcation between the ‘Administered Areas and Unadministered Areas’ of the then Naga Hills Agency to be the final inter-state boundary between the two States. “This is the core issue of the case that is pending in the Supreme Court of India,” it pointed out.
Affirming to protect the land of the Nagas, UNTABA asserted that whatever be the outcome of this case filed by Assam, the Naga people will never accept any observation or judgment that is detrimental to the historical rights of the Naga people. “Moreover, the honorable Supreme Court itself knows that such case can never be finally arbitrated by the Court itself; therefore, the Supreme Court has recently issued an interim order directing the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take the responsibility in resolving the issue amicably,” it added.
The press release also said that UNTABA will never accept any amicable settlement which fails to bring back all those areas of approximately 4,974.16 square miles or an area of 12,883.07 square kilometers that were arbitrarily transferred to Assam by the then British Government of India systematically.
“The UNTABA shall therefore pursue the issue in the right perspective to the highest level including legal course of action so as to right the historical wrongs committed to the Naga people in the interest of the generations to come, come what may,” the press note of the Naga body stated.

By EMN Updated: Oct 11, 2014 12:55:41 am