NEW DELHI, JUNE 12: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Government of Nagaland to ensure the basic human rights of more than 100 villages of the State.
Acting on separate petitions filed by Supreme Court lawyer and noted human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC passed the order recently, reported news agency ANI.
Tripathy had alleged that all-weather road connectivity and non-availability of basic amenities like potable drinking water, primary health care and education facilities were not provided and villagers had livelihood problems.
He further alleged that the social schemes introduced by the Central and the State Governments were not being implemented properly.
The NHRC has been informed by the Chief Secretary and DGP that there is no injustice to the refugees and no private tax in the State. The State also reported that the development of the State is in process.
Tripathy, in his rejoinder, reiterated that the rights of the villagers are being violated.
The NHRC considered the report of the Home Commissioner to the Government of Nagaland and directed him to respond in light of the rejoinder filed by Tripathy.
Responding to the issue of denial of basic human rights of the refugees raised by Tripathy, the Home Commissioner to the Nagaland Government stated that the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873 is in force throughout Nagaland.
“Anyone coming from outside requires a permit, known as Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter and stay in Nagaland. A person is given ILP only after being satisfied about his/her identity and antecedents. In case of any report of injustice against him, appropriate action as per law is taken. It is further stated that there are no other refugees except registered Tibetan refugees in Nagaland”, he said.
Tripathy, however, alleged that Naga refugees consist of Tibetan refugees and Bangladeshis in Nagaland. Immigration, undocumented in Nagaland unlike in Assam and Tripura, was being perceived as a potential threat to the tribal identity. While underscoring the Sumiya phenomenon, estimates of the total population of illegal immigrants in Nagaland is more than 1 lakh in number.
Replying to another petition of Tripathy related to the collection of illegal tax, the Home Commissioner admitted the fact that there was private tax by some insurgent groups, the same has been done away with except one group against which action has been taken. Tripathy alleged that people of Nagaland have to pay taxes to the parallel governments run by 5 insurgent groups ~ National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), GPRN/NSCN (Khole-Konyak), NSCN (Khaplang) and the 2 factions of Naga National Council (NNC) ~ apart from paying the Government taxes. Illegal multiple taxes and threats by insurgent groups mixed with the inaction of the Government amount to the denial of the right to life.
The Home Commissioner stated that insurgent groups that were active in the State have entered into the ceasefire agreements with the Government of India and are refraining from indulging in armed confrontation with the security forces. However, one group NSCN (K) has unilaterally broken off the ceasefire agreement in March 2015 and the security forces jointly are taking suitable measures against them.
Subsequently, Tripathy again pointed out the illegal and unabated taxation imposed on the people of Nagaland forcing them to pay multiple taxes to underground groups and continuation of extortion on commercial vehicles un-checked along Highways and check-gates in Nagaland.
After the NHRC intervention the Chief Secretary and DGP, Nagaland, informed that all possible efforts be made to curb the illegal activities of insurgents in the State.