Turning down a joint appeals by 25 legislators from the Ao, Sumi and Lotha tribes and also separate appeals by Ao and Sumi legislators; Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) at a meeting on September 29, 2016 of all its three constituent units (Ao, Sumi and Lotha) has firmly reiterated to stick to dissociation from Naga Hoho over the issue of Rongmei recognition as an indigenous tribe of Nagaland.
According to media cell of CNTC, the constituent units of the three apex tribal bodies after thorough deliberation over the state government’s approach and that of the Naga Hoho in forming any committee to review the Rongmei recognition issue; resolved that any issue pertaining to the three tribes, especially with regard to recognition of Rongmei as indigenous tribe of Nagaland, “will be initiated only under the aegis of the CNTC and not separately”.
Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) chairman, media cell Theja Therieh has hit out at the statement made by Nagaland chief minister T.R.Zeliang at the NPF seminar/workshop held in Kohima and which appeared in the local newspapers. In his statement, Zeliang maintained that since the Rongmei recognition issue was in the court after a case was filed by Zeliang People’s Organisation(ZPO), it would not be appropriate top comment on it as it was sub judice.
Therieh said that by making the statement, Zeliang was “either shying away” from taking official responsibility to address the matter or was intending to “misguide the general public.”
He said it was quite understandable as to why the state government was trying to take shelter under the pretext of the writ petition. Therieh alleged that T.R. Zeliang in particular, wanted to keep the recognition alive on “the most contentious issue in public domain today”.
The NTC media cell chairman maintained that the writ petition filed by the ZPO (native Zeliang people of the state) was clear that it was not a challenge on the home department notification issued on August 4,2012 which accorded recognition to Rongmei as indigenous tribe of Nagaland..
He said ZPO’s writ petition instead challenged the status given to Rongmeis as indigenous inhabitants and over which the Gauhati High Court issued interim orders restricting issuance of indigenous certificates to members of Rongmei community.
Therieh said that since the ZPO did not challenge the issue of recognition of Rongmei as indigenous tribe of Nagaland, the question of it being subjudice for discussion in public domain or amounting to interference in court procedures “does not arise”. He said that rather, it was up to the state government whether to retain recognition or to revoke the order giving recognition to Rongmeis as indigenous tribe of Nagaland.