Inquiry Comm. wonders why Nagaland govt. failed to release findings
• Erroneous, ineffective handling of situation led to tragedy, says commission
• Comm. stays away from identifying lynch mob
• Suggests introduction of measures to deport illegal immigrants / foreign nationals
DIMAPUR, JUNE 3 : It would appear that the government of Nagaland, for some curious reason, is not keen on making public the report of the judicial commission that was formed in the aftermath of the 2015-May 5 mob-lynch in Dimapur.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC), it has emerged, had already submitted a 52-page report to chief minister TR Zeliang on March 9 last. The same report was submitted to the chief secretary of Nagaland, Pankaj Kumar, the next day. However, the contents of the report remains sealed.
Addressing a news conference today at Chumukedima, the JIC members–Justice BD Agarwal (retd.) and Veprasa Nyekha, District & Sessions Judge (retd.)–informed that their final report contained ‘factual findings’ besides recommendations. A portion of the report containing the recommendations offered by the JIC was made available to the local press.
“In our considered opinion, the violence that took place in Dimapur town on March 5, 2015 is the result of ineffective and erroneous handling of the situation,” a passage in the report reads. This, the two lawyers have stated, could happen only when the officers at the helm of affairs were either incompetent or lacked the will to dedicate themselves to ‘save democracy and uphold the Constitution of India.’
“Hence, we recommend that apart from giving extensive training to the officers, particularly in crowd management, it is also essential that only officers of high integrity and ability are posted in sensitive places. We are also of the opinion that while selecting officers for posting in sensitive and important places political agenda should be totally left out of consideration.”
They have also stated that the outrage took place “due to lack of devotion in the duty by the administrative and police officers” that neither the life of the accused person, Sarif Khan, could be saved nor the “trespass of anti-social elements” deep inside the Central Jail could be prevented. Said observation was included in the section where the JIC had made recommendations about the Nagaland government’s policy for transferring officers.
Urgent: Govt. must have to detect and deport foreigners
But the commission’s most significant recommendation in the report has come in the form of a suggestion for “detection and deportation of foreigners.” From the beginning of the report, the JIC noted that the March 5 incident was an outcome of the “people’s grievance against the alleged inaction of the civil administration to detect and deport illegally migrated Bangladeshis in as much as one Syed Sarif Khan (an alleged IBI) had allegedly committed rape upon a Naga girl.”
It reported that the people of Nagaland were living under the fear of being outnumbered by illegal immigrants, especially the Bangladeshis. “To save and protect their identity and culture, various organizations are holding democratic protests time and again and submitting memorandums to different authorities.”
The report cited the case of Assam: how the Assam Accord was signed as a result of a mass movement in the early eighties “against the explosion of influx” of migrants from Bangladesh.
According to the report:
“Apart from establishing good number of tribunals to decide the citizenship of doubtful foreigners, the state of Assam has also undertaken the task of updating National Register of Citizens (NRC).
…this exercise is likely to give a clear picture of genuine Indian citizens living in the state of Assam viz-a-viz illegally migrated foreign nationals.
…the state of Nagaland has already adopted the system of Inner Line Permit since British Rule. This provision was brought in this state through Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873.
…despite the existence of such stringent legal provision, the influx of IBIs (illegal Bangladeshi immigrants) is still unabated.
…hence, we feel that updating the NRC in the state of Nagaland also would go a long way to solve the critical issue of detecting foreign nationals.”
Till date, there is no established National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state of Nagaland.
The other recommendations proposed by the commission include revamping prison security structures, prison infrastructure–installing close-circuit cameras, security alarms, metal detectors, a central monitoring room etc–and training of government officers in “crowd management.”
Comm. washes hands of culprits
When the JIC was formed, the Nagaland government had asked them to also ascertain the “causes and circumstances leading to the incident” and identify “the person or group of persons responsible for the incident, including those who incited, encouraged or guided the crowd in committing the crimes.”
The JIC members said that they had overlooked said two briefs because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing the same. “We were there to conduct an inquiry not an investigation,” was the reason the commission offered.
They also lamented that the Nagaland government was yet to make public the findings. “It is unfortunate that the state government has not released it to the media for publication yet. The public should know of the contents,” said one of the JIC members.