ILP regime will not take away rights of non-Nagas — NDPP
Says committee’s report has provisions for protection of all sections including non-Nagas, traders, travellers
Dimapur, June 28 (EMN): As public outcry at the PIL filed by one Ashwini Kumar Upadhaya against the extension of Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime to Dimapur gets louder, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has asserted that there was no question of infringing upon the life, liberty, properties and fundamental rights of the non-Nagas living in Dimapur.
A press release from the NDPP on Friday stated that on the clarion call of the people of Nagaland for implementation of ILP regime and the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873 to the whole of Nagaland, the PDA government had decided to extend the ILP regime to Dimapur; and declared by Governor PB Acharya on February 21.
Consequently, the Abhishek Singh Committee was formed and its report is being examined, with the implementation of the ILP regime to the whole of Nagaland including Dimapur under process, it stated.
“It needs to be pointed out that despite the existence of the ILP regime in the rest of the state, there are still a good number of non-Nagas living in these areas in harmony with the Naga people. The ILP regime will not debar any non-Naga from entering Nagaland. The ILP is only a mechanism to keep in check the entry and exit of people from other states into Nagaland so as to protect the indigenous people of the state.
“The ILP in no way takes away the rights of any Indian citizen and neither is it discrimination to the non-Nagas. It also does not debar a non-Naga from working within the state. The imposition of ILP also does not mean that the non-Naga traders have to close down their businesses. In fact, the committee’s report has provisions for protection of all sections including non-Nagas, traders, floating working population, other northeastern citizens, tourists, travellers in transit, etc. The aspiration of the state government is to streamline the system, use modern technology for better implementation and also to take steps to check influx of illegal immigrants, combat crime and anti-social elements and ensure safety and security for all citizens,” it stated.
Nagas, it reminded, have always been accommodating. The government of India while granting statehood to Nagaland, which arose out of a political agreement unlike any other state in India, felt that the Nagas and their lands must be protected and hence the entire state excluding Dimapur was brought under the ambit of the BEFR 1873 and the ILP regime, the NDPP stated.
“However, over the years, the accommodative nature of the Nagas has been taken advantage of and also the unfortunate misuse of the ILP resulting in the huge influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring states and Bangladesh thus threatening the future of the Nagas. Keeping this in mind, the PDA government decided to strengthen and streamline the existing ILP regime and the BEFR while also extending the same to Dimapur in order that the entire Nagaland is covered by this regulation which will help maintain checks and balances on those people coming and going from the state so as to protect the people and our land from being infiltrated,” it stated.
The NDPP asserted that the PDA government was sincere in its commitment to protect the rights of the people and to strive for an early resolution to the decades old Naga Issue. It is indeed most unfortunate that at such a crucial stage in the ongoing talks between the government of India and the NNPGs, an individual who does not understand the issue at hand has come to jeopardise the hard-earned breakthroughs, it stated.
The party also clarified that the sole purpose of its leaders going to Delhi was to felicitate the prime minister and the newly inducted ministers of the government of India as the PDA is a participating member of the NDA government. “It needs to be pointed out that in none of their interactions with the leaders in Delhi neither was the topic of the ILP and the BEFR raised nor discussed. Just as the people have been taken by shock and surprise, the NDPP led PDA and all our leaders have also been equally taken by surprise by the PIL that has been filed in the Supreme Court of India.”
It also stated that the question of Dimapur being a part of Assam does not arise under any circumstances. “The NDPP impresses upon the concerned persons and organisations to take all necessary measures on top priority so that the matter of PIL is resolved in an amicable manner at the earliest.
“It is also the appeal of the NDPP to the non-Naga permanent residents of not only Dimapur but all over Nagaland, that they too come out in support of protecting the rights, privileges and identity of the Nagas as we have been living as one family for the last so many decades in peaceful cohabitation and harmony,” it stated.
NPF demands PIL withdrawal
The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has demanded Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking ‘protection of non-Nagas in Dimapur’, to withdraw the petition.
In a press release issued on Friday, the NPF stated that out of 29 states in India, Nagaland is the only state to have been created out of a political agreement and hence a special provision was inserted in the form of Article 371 (A).
“Mr. Ashwini should educate himself that British has introduced Bengal Eastern Frontal Regulation 1873 with an objective to protect the rights of the Naga people, which has been legitimately inherited, recognised and implemented from day one when the state of Nagaland was created. As Dimapur district is legitimately under the Nagaland state, coverage of implementing ILP to the Dimapur district is the prerogative of the Naga people and Nagas have every right to do so,” it stated.
According to the party, Ashwini should not feel insecure for non-Nagas settled in Dimapur as “Naga people are the most liberal people in the country.”
According to the party, the fact that a non-Naga had ‘mustered courage’ to file PIL against the implementation of the ILP in itself was a ‘threat to the identity of the Naga people.’ It asked the PDA government ‘to seriously view the situation and pay attention before it goes out of proportion.’