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Op-Ed

JCPI Input on the Terms of Reference on RIIN as Sought by the Commission on RIIN

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By EMN Updated: Sep 28, 2019 10:59 pm
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1. Eligibility Criteria to Be an Indigenous Inhabitant
• 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland as per Government of Nagaland Home Branch No. SC-22/Home/1/67 notification dated 6th July 2009

• Kachari and Kuki tribes recognized as scheduled tribes of Nagaland as per Government of Nagaland Home Branch No. SC-22/Home/1/67 notification dated 6th July 2009

• Garo and Mikir tribal community of Nagaland classified as Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland as per Government of Nagaland Home Branch No. SC-22/Home/1/67 notification dated 6th July 2009.

• Nagas from other states settled in the state prior to 1st December 1963 as per notification No.AR-8/8/76 dated 28th April 1977

• Any other communities settled prior to 1st December 1963 as per notification No.AR-8/8/76 dated 28th April 1977

2. Authority to Authenticate Claims of Being Indigenous
• The recognised village councils (There has to be an overriding authority at the ground level. Clans/Khels can submit their list to the village council authority).

• The district administrations

• The indigenous list to be vetted by respective tribe hoho/bodies before submission to the authority.

• In the case of Nagas from other states and any other communities from other states settled prior to 1st December 1963 authentication to be carried out by the district administrations and JCPI (with any other appropriate bodies, such as, tribe hohos).

• Claims and objections with regard to the final published list should be accompanied by written notes issued by the respective apex tribe hohos.

3. Place of Registration as Indigenous
• All recognised villages, including those under Disputed Area Belt: An individual will be authenticated and certified by the respective recognized village councils. However, with many native Nagas having migrated to Dimapur sector and having established numerous villages in the district, the village councils (of Dimapur district) while authenticating their member as belonging to their village should also mention the ancestral/native village of such members.

• All the district headquarters (For Rengma and Pochury tribes – HQ means the sub-divisional headquarters of Tseminyu and Meluri).

4. Basis of Claims of Being Indigenous
A. State government notification on Indigenous STs and Indigenous Inhabitants inhabiting the state of Nagaland.

The native tribes of Nagaland do not require any other certification except as authenticated by the respective village councils. However, it is also true that Naga, Kuki and Kachari tribes inhabit the state of Manipur and Assam and are bonafide citizens of Burma as well. Therefore, sudden surge in population incongruent with the census of 2011 and the latest e-roll with regard to certain tribes may be strictly monitored and any suspicious authentications by VCs/tribe bodies may be cross-verified with the 1961 census or the e-roll of 1963 by the RIIN/district authorities.

[Rights of indigenous tribes and communities/peoples in the ILP context:
1. Only indigenous people can live, work, and earn in ILP areas.
2. Obviously there’s no bar on mobility for Indigenous people within the state.
3. Obviously there’s no bar on Indigenous people buying or owning property in the state
4. Obviously there’s no bar on Indigenous people carrying out trade and livelihood in any districts of Nagaland
5. However, except for notified Indigenous Tribes (ST) such as 14 Naga tribes and 2 non-Naga tribes, other Indigenous Inhabitants* cannot be issued ST certificates nor allowed to hold public office except under Dimapur-1A/C.

* Indigenous Inhabitants include tribal communities like Garo and Mikir]

JCPI position on “Native Nagas (of Nagaland)”
Today, compromising our ancestral lineage Indigenous (and ST) certificate is issued to 3 types of ‘Nagas;’

a) So called ‘Pure’ Nagas or Native Naga

b) Adopted Nagas, where the adopted person is necessarily an outsider, a mainland Indian, or people of doubtful origin, where their indigeneity is through legalized/naturalized process.

c) Mixed Nagas where Father is non-Naga and Mother is Naga, where their indigeneity is through legalized/naturalised process.

We must see things from the right perspective and put such in its rightful place so that future generations will benefit from our sagacity. Our contention is;

A. 1. If the non-local father with local wife is pre-1963 arrivee (which means the father is Indigenous Inhabitant);
• His offspring’s are Indigenous but cannot be issued ST quota since the native Naga criteria doesn’t apply in this case.

A. 2. If the non-local father with local wife is post 1963 arrivee (which means the father is not indigenous):

• His offspring’s cannot be given Indigenous status even if the wife is indigenous by status

• However, his offspring’s may be given Domicile status or by whatever nomenclature deemed fit. *Domicile is explained under Clause C (1)

A. 3. If the non-local father with local wife is without NRC registration from Assam, or without any convincing fool proof documentation:
• His offspring’s too are deemed aliens even if his wife continues to enjoy indigenous status.

• However, the mother being a native Naga, the offspring’s may at best avail Domicile 1 status or by whatever nomenclature deemed fit. * D1 is explained under Clause C (2) (a).

A. 4. In the case of non-Indigenous adopted sons/daughters of native Naga parents, they may be classified under Domicile category. No ST certificate can be issued in their case. However, to avoid legal/customary complications and upset the existing status quo, serving ‘legalized Naga’ government officers/employees of mixed parentage or adoptees may be allowed to serve out their term. However, the enumerators/VCs/tribe hohos may be directed to ensure that HENCEFORTH offspring of such people are categorized appropriately as per the RIIN classification.

B. Nagas from other states settled in the state prior to 1st December 1963 and Indian citizens from other states settled prior to 1st December 1963 producing relevant documents in support of their claim to be indigenous, such as being enrolled in the 1961 census or the e-roll of 1963, etc., ( or as listed under point 5)

JCPI Position on settlers residing in the state after the cut-off date of 1st Dec 1963

C. It is imperative that the Commission take notice of the presence of below mentioned category of persons settled in the state after cut-off date of 1st December 1963. They cannot be given indigenous status but may be accommodated due to historical and humanitarian circumstances.

1. Non-Indigenous Nagas from other states
2. Non-Indigenous communities from other states. There are two categories here:

a) Those having acquired property prior to enactment of Nagaland Land and Revenue (Amendment) Act 1978*.

b) Those having acquired properties after the enactment of Nagaland Land and Revenue (Amendment) Act 1978*.

[*Properties acquired after the enactment of NLR Act, 1978, are deemed to be illegal]

C (1): Non-Indigenous Nagas from other states or post 1963 arrivals; It is clear that the majority of Nagas from other states settled here came post 1963. The JCPI is clear that they cannot be given indigenous nor ST status in Nagaland. However, it is also right that these Nagas cannot be treated on par with other Indian citizens. Therefore, there may be a separate registry/category under RIIN to register such Nagas, called as Domicile or by any nomenclature deemed fit.

[Rights, Privileges and Restrictions of Domicile category
1. This category people may be allowed mobility all over the state irrespective of ILP
2. This category of people may carry out trade and livelihood practices in any district of Nagaland irrespective of ILP
3. Any land bought post NLR Act 1978 is deemed illegal and subject to confiscation.
4. This category of people cannot be given ST status.
5. This category of people is barred from holding public office (Dimapur -1 A/C included). ]

C (2) (a): Non-Indigenous communities from other states or 1963 – 1978 arrivals; This category of people acquired landed properties before the enactment of Nagaland Land and Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1978. And any such land and property under their possession in DIMAPUR AREA before the enactment of NLR Act is legal. A different sort of classification may be allowed for such category. They may be registered under Domicile 1 or D1 category (or under any nomenclature deemed fit).

[Rights, Privileges and Restrictions of D1
1. Any land bought post NLR Act 1978 is deemed illegal and subject to confiscation. Land even if bought prior to NLR Act 1978 is deemed illegal if it was bought in the hill-districts, a notified ILP area.

2. This category people may be allowed mobility all over the state irrespective of ILP

3. However, this category of people may NOT carry out trade and livelihood activities in any district of Nagaland other than Dimapur. No trade license of any sort may be issued.

4. This category of people cannot be given ST status.

5. This category of people is barred from holding public office (Dimapur -1 A/C included).]

C(2) (b): Non-Indigenous communities from other states or post 1978 arrivals; The state having a concern for the livelihood and future of Lakhs of communities from other states living in Dimapur and elsewhere – having acquired properties post NLR Act, 1978, till date, a separate classification under RIIN for such category is necessary. They may be categorized as “Domicile 2 or D2” or by any nomenclature deemed fit which will permit them to live in the state and continue to ply their livelihood despite the imposition of ILP in Dimapur (and Nagaland) but with certain restrictions.

[Rights, Privileges and Restrictions of D2
1. Any land bought post NLR Act 1978 is deemed illegal and subject to confiscation.
2. Their resident status may be updated every 1/3/5 years as the government deems fit
3. For entry into other ILP areas other than Dimapur, they will have to apply for ILP like before.
4. D2 can ply their trade within Dimapur district only. They are barred from trade activities in other ILP districts*.
5. D2 category people cannot obtain government job nor are allowed to hold public office.
6. Their status can be cancelled for indulging in unfair trade practices, forming syndicates, etc and evicted from the state.]

Any person not covered under A, A1, A2, A3, A4, B, C (1), and C (2) (a), C (2) (b) are deemed to be illegal immigrants from foreign countries and therefore ARRESTABLE, DETENTABLE, and DEPORTABLE from the state.

[*It is understood that no person categorized as an ILP holder is allowed to carry out any trade activities in ILP areas and whereas this is being flagrantly violated in the state of Nagaland where the ILP holder has been found to be in possession of trade licenses and has taken up tenancy (residency) in the ILP areas and living permanently in the said area for several years at a stretch.]

5. Nature of Documents That Will Be Acceptable As Proof for Indigenous
Category 1: 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland as per government notification/Kachari and Kuki recognized as scheduled tribes of Nagaland as per government notification/Garo and Mikir tribal community of Nagaland recognized as inhabitants of Nagaland as per government notification.

• Authentication of the individual by the recognized village councils as indigenous

Category 2: Nagas from other states settled in the state prior to 1st December 1963 as per notification No.AR-8/8/76 dated 28th April 1977 and Indian citizens from other states settled prior to 1st December 1963 as per notification No.AR-8/8/76 dated 28th April 1977. An individual or his descendants can claim indigenous status on production of anyone of the following;

• Voter ID/names entered in the e-roll of 1963 or before.
• Names entered in the census of 1961 or before.
• Cadastral Land patta issued in the individual’s name on or before 1st December 1963
• Educational certificate issued by school/board of Nagaland on or before 1st December 1963
• Birth certificate issued by competent authority on or before 1st December 1963
• Government appointment order issued on or before 1st December 1963 for government servants.
• Trade License issued by government/government authority on or before 1st December 1963
• Any authentic government certificate/order issued on or before 1st December 1963 citing proof of residence.

6. Miscellaneous:
A. Status of orphans of unknown parentage: The JCPI is given to believe that the term ‘Orphan’ relates to the actual meaning of the word, that is, a child without father and mother ; and the orphan is living in a charitable home or shelter run by NGOs in which case;

• Orphans of native Naga heritage will have to be categorised as Indigenous.
• Orphans of Non-Indigenous heritage cannot be given indigenous status. At best they may be categorized under D1 category.

B. Status of such persons who through incorrect procedure had been issued Indigenous Inhabitant certificate in the past and as a consequence they and their children, have availed benefits, admissible to Indigenous Inhabitants.

• This query has been partly answered under 4 A.4 (Basis of claims of being Indigenous).
• But for other Non-Indigenous persons who have obtained the certificate for their benefit through fraudulent means such as to obtain government jobs, trade and driving licenses, gun licenses, etc., the only remedy is to cancel the certificate.

K Ghokheto Chophy, Convenor, JCPI;
Tia Longchar, Secretary, JCPI

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By EMN Updated: Sep 28, 2019 10:59:01 pm