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Nagaland Govt. caught in its own web

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No compromise on traditional boundary between Zeliang & Chakhro Angami tribes: Peren CSOs, Landowners

DIMAPUR, JUNE 15: The Government of Nagaland is caught in a problem of its own making with different bodies coming out against inter-district boundary demarcation notified by the State Government after it carved out two new districts from Dimapur District apparently without any ground works or consultation with any stakeholders.
With the sudden announcement of the two new districts earlier this year, most villages in the erstwhile Dimapur Districts were caught off guard and the subsequent notification of inter-district boundary were rejected by some villages and organizations with some wanting to remain in Dimapur District while other wants to be under Chumoukedima District, etc.
After the Western Sumi Hoho (WSH) demanded the State Government to revoke the June 3 notification on Peren-Chumoukedima boundary demarcation, now the Peren Civil Society Organizations and landowners of Peren District have demanded the Government of Nagaland to evict all illegal unrecognized villages from the traditional land of Lamhai and Jalukie before any inter-district boundary demarcation is undertaken.
The Peren CSOs and landowners stated that it will not compromise for anything other than the agreed traditional boundary between Zeliang and Chakhro Angami tribes.
In a letter to the Chief Minister of Nagaland (submitted through the office of ADC, Jalukie), Peren CSOs and landowners accused the State Government of its unwillingness to implement the recommendation of the Cabinet Sub-committee which it had constituted to resolve the long standing boundary dispute between Peren District and Dimapur District (now Chumoukedima), which the Peren CSOs claimed it had “reluctantly agreed to accept as rationalized by the Govt. as compromise formula solely for administrative convenience”.
“This unwillingness is evident from the notification of 3rd June, 2022 and subsequent concession to the diktat and political coercion of a particular intruding tribe. The CSOs and landowners of Peren District therefore will not compromise for anything other than the agreed traditional boundary between Zeliang and Chakhro Angami tribes”, it stated.
The letter said the CSOs of Peren District fully support the creation of Chumoukedima District from Dimapur. “But dictating the Government by a particular tribe to set inter-district boundary only for their community convenience as bargaining ploy to join the newly created Chumoukedima District is nothing but political blackmailing. Any decision/notification from the State Government resulting from such blackmail will not be accepted if it involves the ancestral land of Zeliang in Peren District”, it stated.
Stating that citizens of Peren District had full faith on the State Government to propagate the spirit of peaceful co-existence among communities along this belt disputed by the presence of “illegal intruders establishing unauthorized villages”, the letter said since the Government decision is based “only to please a particular community, the State Govt. should evict all illegal unrecognized villages from the traditional land of Lamhai and Jalukie before any inter-district boundary demarcation is undertaken.”
“The names of these illegally established villages should no longer be reflected in any future notification and documentation (Census) by the state Govt.”, it demanded.
According to Peren CSOs and landowners, the inter-district boundary demarcation between Peren District and then Dimapur and now Chumoukedima has been long due since the creation of Dimapur and Peren Districts from undivided Kohima District. It claimed that there was never any dispute on boundary between traditional land owner tribes of Zeliang and Chakhro Angami till today “but the coming of non-traditional Naga tribe from far away Zunheboto and the accord of customary shelter in our traditional land in good faith in the early part of 20th century created the mother of all disputes in the said belt of land”.
Stating that the Zeliang tribe is not against any tribe(s) who advocates peaceful co-existence among communities in prospering together in our God given ancestral land, the letter alleged, “The peaceful co-existence of other Naga tribes and their villages within our ancestral land except Western Sumi tribe and its villages is a testament to this.”
“We believe in the reality of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence and reached out to Western Sumi villages in September 2020 to live and prosper together by acknowledging each other in the spirit of brotherhood, but was unfortunately turned down by these villages in our joint meeting at Thahekhu village on 10th February 2021”, it claimed.
Cautioning the Government to consider “these facts and realities” if its intention is for solving the problem, the Peren CSOs and landowners cautioned that the Government will bear sole responsibility for development of any situation in future “as our ancestral land cannot be bartered for any political interest of any Government”.
(Page News Service)

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