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Sec 144 CrPc in NZP flayed
Published on 21 Aug. 2010 12:24 AM IST
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Petitioners in the disputed site falling within the Nagaland Zoological Park(NZP) have described the promulgation of Section 144 Cr.P.C. on August 19 by the DC Dimapur as “ultra vires and illegal”
According to reports, the DC Dimapur had promulgated Section 144 Cr P.C.after a group of people overpowered security personnel and buried the dead body of a woman inside the Park on Thursday morning.
On behalf of the petitioners, Lutovi Achumi, said that the District and Sessions Judge Court Dimapur on February 26,2010 had issued a status quo order, directing both petitioners and respondents (State) in the Civil Suit No.03/10 to a PIL 99/07. In this regard, the petitioner contended, that the DC Dimapur was also a party to the case and “well aware of the facts”.
Achumi said the petitioners contended in the suit that their possession over the suit land was “by way of peaceful traditional cultivation, grazing grounds, collection of firewood” and that their “common burial ground should not be disturbed” due to alteration of the original notified boundary of the NZP.
Promulgation of Section 144 Cr P.C. by the district administration was “in clear violation of the Status Quo order” as it restricted the movement and assembling of the local residents in and around NZP, said the petitioner.
This, he said “tantamounts to contempt of Court and misuse of official status and powers.”
He also alleged that the forest department, under the guise of the promulgation, was continually undertaking hectic developmental work within the Suit Land.
On the burial of the dead body, the petitioner accused the district administration of having “by-passed all sense of reasoning”, and in contravention of the universal law, exhumed the dead body of a local resident who was recently buried in the Suit Land. They pointed out that the common cemetery/burial ground of the local residents was located at the present Suit Land, which has been in use by the local residents since time immemorial. Further it was stated that there were earlier graves of the local residents at the present Suit Land which the district administration was well aware of.
The petitioner expressed “great shock” at the exhumation of the dead body by the administration even before the expiry of the deadline issued on them.
The petitioner requested the District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur to inform the family members as to where the “illegally exhumed” body has been buried and also to revoke the “ultra vires order” so as not to let the public loose faith in the administration of the district and also not to invite litigation against himself.
He asked “whether the district administration in continuance of its exodus and its inhumane attitude towards the dead …. ready to exhume the rest of the graves at the present Suit Land.”
The petitioner said that the district administration had acted contrary to the provisions of law by exhuming the dead body without any order/s to that effect and that the same was unprocedural which attracted penal sections of law since the matter in issue was pending before the competent Court.
He said that “exhuming a body is permitted only in extreme cases where the exhumed body is required for some criminal investigation which is not the case with this instant matter at hand.”
On the suit land, the petitioner stated that as per the Cabinet Memorandum submitted by then secretary, forest department, Anil Kumar, out of the total original area of 8809 Hectares (21769.40 acres), 2583 Hectares was deducted for government purpose (Sugar Mill-1981 Hectares , Central Jail-132 Hectares, Wildlife Sanctuary-470 Hectares) while 5216 Hectares was encroached by various tribal communities. The balance 1010 Hectares was encroached by surrounding villages recognized by the government of Nagaland in Forest Land. Only 176 Hectares was under legitimate possession in a PIL case Party at Rangaphar, he said.
He said the present position of the area of Rangaphar Reserve Forest indicating the approximate encroached area was as follows: (Figures are in Hectares)
Kiyevi 625.40; Vidima 844.00; Diezephe 895.20; Razaphe 854.40; Bade A,B,C 488.20; Ura 688.80; Thilixu 300.00; Sangtam A & B 250.00; Sovima 100.00 and New Chumukedima 190.00 (very recent) and concluded that the approximate encroached area totaled 5216.00 Hectares.

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