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Nagaland

NTC objects to Rongmei recognition

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By EMN Updated: Feb 06, 2014 12:55 am
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EMN
DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 5

THE Nagaland Tribes Council have questioned the Home Department’s attempt to clarify what it termed as misgivings of the numerous references on the issue of Rongmei Tribe Recognition by various organizations. It is an obvious attempt to cover-up the wrong and unpopular decision of the State Government giving recognition to the Rongmei Tribe in the State of Nagaland. The statement reveals the callous attitude of the State Government creating further confusions rather than clarifying on the general perceptions said an NTC press release.The NTC have alleged that the state cabinet had gone against the recommendations of the Committee set up to examine the status of according ‘tribe’ status to the Rongmeis. Its release states, the Committee’s recommendation reads “…Such a status, while entitling them to avail all the benefits of reservation to pursue employment and education will not make them an indigenous Naga tribe of the State…” On careful review of the Committee’s Report, it is found loud and clear that it was against granting recognition to the Rongmei Tribe. However, the State cabinet had gone ahead and taken a political decision, outside the Committee’s Recommendation, to recognize Rongmei as a tribe in the State of Nagaland giving full-fledged social status.
NTC states that there is vast difference between granting Indigenous Inhabitant certificate to individuals and granting Tribe Recognition in the State. Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate are issued for the purpose of employment and education for the members of a community who hold landed properties prior to the state formation or their names been listed in the electoral roll 1963 whereas Recognition of a Tribe is for those who hold social status of being a community who inhabited in the State prior to its formation with well defined territory with its distinct culture and traditions as one of the aboriginal tribe identified by the State.
The statement also sought explanation as to how the Rongmei Tribe which is part and parcel of the state of Manipur and Assam and enjoying all the benefits of a tribe in Manipur be treated as indigenous inhabitants or for that matter an aboriginal tribe of Nagaland and enjoy multiple status? It further stated that the State Election Department could not identify even a single Rongmei name in the 1963 electoral list. This proves that they are not indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland prior to the state formation.The statement has also questioned the basis of granting Rongmeis aboriginal tribe status without the presence of a defined territory in the State of Nagaland.
The NTC has also drawn attention to decision of the Gauhati High Court in Writ Petition (C) Nos. 95 of 1999 and 137 (K) of 2001 filed by T. A. Rongmei and others versus State of Nagaland and others move before the Court for recognizing Rongmei as ST in Nagaland.
The NTC statements says, after hearing both the parties the Hon’ble Court dismissed the petition on 10.7.2003 on ground that there was no merit in the case. It alleged that the sudden turn around of the the Government in 2012 after earlier upholding the order of the High Court is prompted by political interests and gain.
The statement concludes by reaffirming that the state of Nagaland was created with a defined territory consisting of 16 aboriginal tribes. The territorial demarcations of the existing state the NTC holds cannot be expanded nor re-defined by the State Government. This the NTC states can only be brought about if the territory of the state expands or re-organises the existing demarcations, there is no justification to include tribes from other states which are not aboriginals, it adds.
The Rongmei tribe recognition does not satisfy any criteria within the legislated provisions of the State. The Cabinet decision is against the popular wishes of the people and without taking the confidence of the house of people. It acted in contravention to the legislated law whereby jeopardizing the larger interest of the citizens of the State. Further there can be no Government policy which against public interest.
The NTC statement clarified that, the issue does not implicate access to an indigenous inhabitant certificate to the members of genuine Rongmei Nagas who satisfactorily fulfilled the laid down criteria as notified vide Notification No.AR-8/8/76 dated kohima, the 28th April, 1977. The issue in question here is granting social status to Rongmei Naga tribe qualifying them to fully enjoy the status and benefits of the aboriginal tribes of the State, it said. The NTC alleged the decision of the government as an attempt to infringe upon the rights and privileges of the citizens of the State and the NTC once again reiterated it earlier resolutions to fight against the anti-people decisions of the State at all cost.
The NTC said it stands by its earlier demand from the Government for the interest of the Naga tribes of Nagaland.

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By EMN Updated: Feb 06, 2014 12:55:30 am