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The Hon’ble Governor’s D.O letter to the Hon’ble Chief Minister dated June 16, 2020 needs serious indepth study and further probing. He had charged the PDA government that law and order in the State had collapsed. He went on to show as to how all other issues/problems were connected with the law and order problem. He went on to add that the problems were created by armed cadres who indulge in anti-social and illegal activities. He had charged the government of the day for all the problems that the public are facing on day-to-day basis. However, conscious citizens are not totally blind/ignorant to the ceasefire ground rules. The genuine concerns raised in public interest were praise worthy. Nonetheless, it would have been prudent to apply the rule of first thing first. As a matter of fact, the charges leveled against the government directly reflected the failure of the Government of India (GOI) in the first place. They manifested nothing less than total collapse of ceasefire monitoring cell and supervisory board. Had the ceasefire ground rules been implemented at ground in letter and spirit, the question of cadres roaming with loaded arms and creating law and order problems did not arise. The ceasefire monitoring cell and supervisory board are directly responsible to ensure that cadres strictly adhere to the ceasefire ground rules, in particular, carrying loaded arms outside the designated camps in public places. The failure to conclude the political talks are directly responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation. Obstinate policy of the central government is causing all the problems. The policy of turning the public against the factions manifest a sick mind because it directly put the public in the line of fire. The policy has not yielded the desired effect because unarmed civilians are helpless in the face of armed men. In such a scenario, the woes of the public are bound to continue. There is also problem in handling the situation effectively as there seems to be no clear line drawn between anti-social activities and activities political in nature. Taking all these points into consideration, the onus lies more with the GOI and its ceasefire monitoring cell and supervisory board. That being said, the threat to invoke Article 371A (1)(b) of the Constitution of India was unfortunate on the ground that the law and order problem that prevailed immediately before statehood during the Era of Naga Hills Tuensang Area and immediate post-statehood were different from present situation, both in nature and operative. At that time there were no factions. There was no ceasefire either up to September 5, 1964. This sub-clause of the said article leaves enough room to interpret the content in different ways by different people, lay people as well as experts. It is surprising then, as to how that antiquated law has been allowed to remain operative until now without amendment. Now that this particular provision in the said article has been brought to life, the NLA may like to give serious thought to explore means to adopt assembly resolution on the issue. After all, there should not be any ambiguity in the content and context of the said article.
(Opinions expressed here are purely personal)
Dr. K. Hoshi
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