Dimapur, June 28: Nagaland Tribes Council, in a consultative meeting with the state’s tribal hohos and civil organizations, convened on June 22 last, at the Red Cross Conference Hall, Kohima, observed that when the Government of Assam intensifies its NRC process and streamline its citizenship, Nagaland is going to be a soft target and the rejected population will find its way to Nagaland.
NTC therefore asked the state Government to make necessary amendments of BEFR Act, 1873, to strengthen and extend the coverage of BEFR to the entire administrative jurisdiction of Nagaland and also to create a separate cell, under the Home Department to monitor strict enforcement of BEFR, Foreigners Act and Indian Passport
Act on a day-to-day basis, while also providing necessary training to enforcement agencies to be equipped with the relevant enforcement laws, standard operation procedures and guidelines.
The NTC also on the occasion asked the Government to implement the Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act 1978 in letter and in spirit by sending necessary instructions to the concerned Deputy Commissioners, Revenue Officers and village authorities to strictly adhere to the law and protect the Nagas’ land and property as per the law of the land and simultaneously urged the Nagaland GB Federation to instruct its federating units to strictly enforce the Act in their respective villages and maintain records of land transfers and registrations within their respective administrative jurisdictions.
Nagaland Special Development Zones (NSDZ)
On the issue of Nagaland special Development Zones (NSDZ), NTC opined that the NSDZ will become a free zone for anyone from any race, to own and pursue any business without restriction as the special protective laws of Nagaland such as Article 371A, BEFR Act, 1873 (ILP) and Nagaland Land and Revenue (amendment) Act, 1978 shall not be applicable there and such decision is an anti-thesis to the special category state and suicidal for the state’s indigenous citizens therefore NTC asked the Government to revoke the resolution that was adopted in the year 2014 by the DAN Government.
GoN’s proposal for cadastral survey
The meeting also deliberated on the merits and demerits of the proposed Cadastral Survey of the State of Nagaland and observed that once the State of Nagaland is placed under cadastral survey, the land owners are bound to pay land tax to the State Government and will have to become patta-holders and their paying of land premium becomes inevitable. NTC therefore said that this proposed exercise is found detrimental to our fundamental rights therefore cautioned the Government not to dilute the tribal rights, traditions and culture. There is no wisdom in trying to make ourselves tenants in our own inherited land, the NTC opined.
Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
Taking on the Citizen Amendment Bill, 2016, NTC said that citizenship based on religious considerations is dangerous and contravenes the secular principles of Indian Constitution. It further alleged that the hidden agenda of this Bill is to divide citizens on the basis of religion and to bring about Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which is aimed at ‘One Nation, One religion’ and the communal agenda behind this Bill is to import Hindu population from neighboring countries.
The meeting observed that Northeast is highly infested by illegal immigrants particularly from Bangladesh and with Assam and Nagaland being immediate neighbors with borders that cannot be sealed, Nagaland will become the first victim of the proposed Bill.
In this light, NTC urged the PDA Government to review its decision not to oppose the Bill but to decide to oppose it in the very interest of Nagaland without delay. In the event of the PDA Government upholding its decision, it should be ready to be responsible of what the ramifications of the Bill would be when it becomes an Act.
Rongmei Tribal Recognition Issue
NTC also acknowledged in the meeting ‘the right decision’ of the then DAN Government to derecognize the Rongmei as a tribe in Nagaland in its Cabinet meeting held on April 25, 2017 but expressed dismay that Rongmeis had to go to Court challenging the revocation the order of the Nagaland Government.
NTC thereby questioned their motive by antagonizing the indigenous Naga tribes of Nagaland.
(Page News Service)