Kohima, August 6: Cutting across party lines, Nagaland Assembly today was almost unanimous that implementation of Registration of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) would not impinge on Naga integration movement.
Taking part in the discussion on matters of urgent public importance under Rule-50 pertaining to “Registration of Inhabitants of Nagaland and Inner Line Permit”, Members of the Assembly aired their view that the exercise should not be a hindrance to the popular demand of Naga people for integration of contiguous Naga areas, nor it would be drawn towards Nagas living outside the State of Nagaland.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which revoked Article 370 of the Constitution of India that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir said they will stand united to protect the historical rights of Naga people.
Initiating the discussion in the ongoing Assembly session, former Speaker and Naga People’s Front (NPF) lawmaker, Chotisuh Sazo said the proposed RIIN exercise should not be a hindrance to Naga people’s demand for integration. He said Government has already issued a notification for implementation of RIIN before it is taken for public discussion, or discussion in the State Assembly.
“It is surprise to see the Government notification of constituting the Commission on RIIN, even though it is listed in the Provisional Programme of Business for fourth Session of the thirteenth Assembly by the BAC on 25/7/2019 to have a full day discussion on RIIN. The notification came out on 26/7/2019 undermining the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. It is difficult to understand the intention of the Govt of the day why it is in a hurry to implement this RIIN,” he said.
He suggested that instead of RIIN, ILP should be implemented in totality covering Dimapur. “ILP is more urgent and more important to be implemented,” he said. He questioned why the Government was not implementing ILP in Dimapur district and was trying to divert the issue to RIIN. He also opined that since the commission has been constituted there should not be discussion as it may influence the commission while making recommendations.
The former Speaker was also apprehensive that many people would be left out of the RIIN as they were also enrolled either in the census or electoral during the cutoff year. He said many people were not allowed to enroll by the Naga National Council (NNC) during the peak of Naga national movement. Furthermore if the RIIN exercise is to be carried out with 1963 as cutoff year then there would be only few Nagas who would be indigenous inhabitants of Dimapur area, while most of the non-Nagas would be indigenous and they have to enjoy all benefits of the Government including fourth grade employment opportunity, he said.
Sazo went on to add that many new villages were established after the cutoff year and many outsiders have become inhabitants of those villages. On adoption of sons and daughters, mostly by affluent Nagas, he said to check this village authorities should be involved after drafting out proper modalities.
The NPF leader said Nagaland Assembly had passed several resolutions for Naga integration and that RIIN should not be a hindrance.
On scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir he called upon political parties to remain united for Article 371A which protects the rights of Naga people. “I believe Government of India will not betray us,” he said.
Minister of Higher and Technical Education Temjen Imna Along who is also president of State BJP said PM Modi was committed to resolve the Naga issue and that there would not be a Jammu and Kashmir like situation in Nagaland. But he said the State unit of saffron party supports the Union Government’s decision to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. He said if any decision which could come about against the wishes of the Nagas and which could undermine the political rights of the Nagas the State unit of BJP would oppose.
The State BJP president told the House that Jammu and Kashmir like situation would not be allowed on Naga people.
Clearing doubts on RIIN which could affect the Naga integration movement, Along said the desire of all Naga people is to live together and that the exercise should not be drawn to Nagas living outside Nagaland.
“No policy has been drawn towards Nagas of outside,” he said while presenting his views on implementing the controversial RIIN. He asserted that Government’s decision to implement the RIIN was to check the unabated influx of outsiders and that it should be for the common interest of Nagas of Nagaland.
The BJP President was of the view that RIIN should not be a hindrance to the impending Naga solution and called for a united effort for a decisive decision.
Former Minister and NPF legislator, Vikheho Swu insisted that ILP be implemented in Dimapur area without delay. He said implementation of RIIN should not alienate Naga people nor have an effect on Naga people’s desire to live as one. He cautioned that there is a potential to incite unhealthy relationship among Naga people living in and outside Nagaland State.
Swu further said while Government was determined to carry out RIIN, the boundary dispute between Assam and Nagaland is unresolved, many Nagas did not participate in the first State Assembly election, village like Longwa in Mon district is divided between Nagaland and Myanmar, imposition of Nagaland state on the people and resolutions on Naga integration passed by the State Assembly.
He also lauded the views tendered by different Naga underground groups on RIIN adding that it needs more discussions before carrying out exercise. (Page News Service)