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Oh ! to be an Indian
Our Correspondent, Kohima, Jan 22 (NPN):
Published on 23 Jan. 2009 1:35 AM IST
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Nagas traveling to China on Indian passports often face harassment mainly as the Chinese refused to believe them to be Indians because of their racial features and sometimes because of the Naga names mentioned in the passports, which sounded like Chinese names. This was the experience of some of the legislators from Nagaland who went on an exposure trip to China during the later part of 2008. At several points and airports in China, the Naga legislators were reportedly harassed and detained on suspicion because they looked like somewhat like Chinese. Narrating such an episode one legislator said: “when we showed our Indian passports, the Chinese authorities look at us and then the passports and say - You are not Indian. How can you be Indian?; you’re Chinese. Because we Nagas look much like Chinese , they suspect us that we’re lying”. The first team of Naga legislators who went with the other Indian counterparts, were often separated by the Chinese authorities from the other members as they did not believe they were Indians. Adding more woes, the Naga legislators on several occasions, they got into problems with the suspicious Chinese because of their names. Names such as ‘Chingwang’ or ‘Chang’, aroused suspicions. At one of the airports, the Chinese authorities detained a legislator for some few hours just because his name happened to be Chuba Chang. The second team of Naga legislators were reportedly detained by the Chinese authorities for more than three hours at an Airport, it was learnt.

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