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State govt. discloses reply to Centre on Disturbed Area Act
Published on 16 Nov. 2010 12:56 AM IST
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As demanded by the NPCC, the state government has made public the full content of its reply to the government of India on the extension of Disturbed Area Act (DAA) under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. According to faxed copies of the official communication made between the centre and the state on the DAA, the director (NE - II) ministry of home affairs R. R. Jha had on May 19, 2010 written to the chief secretary seeking the recommendation of the state government on further extension of notification declaring Nagaland as ‘Disturbed Area.’ The state government sent its recommendations through special secretary, L. Singsit on June 29, the content of which is reproduced here:
“I am directed to refer to your letter …that state government of Nagaland reiterate its earlier stand not to recommend extension of the notification of ‘Disturbed Area’ in view of the present ceasefire with the underground organizations, the current peace process and the over all improvement in law and order situation in the state.”
CS responds to NPCC; Tohanba backs him
Meanwhile, chief secretary, Lalthara clarified to the NPCC, which targeted him for making political statement over the DAA, the circumstances under which the statement was made. Lalthara found support from parliamentary secretary, R. Tohanba who stated that the chief secretary as the head of the government machinery had only answered to the queries posed by the media.
Lalthara said that a journalist enquired him through telephone over the extension of DAA which NPCC media cell chairman, Dr. K. Hoshi stated could be possible only with the endorsement of the state cabinet. “I as the cabinet secretary, had to clarify that the cabinet had not endorsed it,” he said. The chief secretary said he had expressed surprise over how the Congress party suddenly raised the issue when the DAA and AFSPA had been enforced in the state for many decades, including during the period of Congress rule and that it was nothing new.
“…there is no political statement involved in this verbal clarification to a question of administrative nature, because as a cabinet secretary, it is my duty to clarify if there are wrong reports or allegations in newspapers about a cabinet decision,” Lalthara clarified.
Backing the chief secretary was parliamentary secretary for information & public relations, economic and statistics, R. Tohanba who described the NPCC statement against Lalthara as “surprising and difficult to understand.” He said that the chief secretary did not issue any documented statement but simply replied to the queries the media to state what he was aware of for public consumption.
Tohanba said that the operation of DAA did not result in any significant violation of human rights or torture of innocent civilians by the security forces during DAN’s regime whereas the situation was “much worse” during the congress regime in the state. He asked why the state congress ministry did not resign in protest when the DAA and AFSPA were repeatedly extended by the Centre against their government’s recommendations to the contrary.
Now that the Congress led UPA was ruling at the Centre and they continued to impose the draconian laws in Nagaland against the will of the people and against the recommendations of the state government, Tohanba said, the NPCC was literally exposing their ignorance and confusions by suddenly raising this issue now on a high pitch.
He said the NPCC had also raised similar issue in connection with the home minister who was earlier held up in Nepal, when the chief secretary had to make statements after being contacted by the media. Tohanba said that the Congress as a responsible national party and having run the affairs of the state for decades, should be aware that the media or any agency will obviously contact the chief secretary of a state whenever a matter of governance was to be enquired about. Stating that it was “shocking” to observe the reaction of the NPCC to the chief secretary’s statements, Tohanba said it showed that the NPCC was trying to attack the government officials in order to demoralize the government machinery and handicap the “excellent performance of DAN government.
On the issue of extending DAA, the parliamentary secretary said that the DAN government had always maintained the stand that it should not be enforced in but that the central government had disregarded its views. He, therefore, said that the NPCC would be in a better position to explain why the Congress-led UPA continued to enforce DAA in Nagaland against, the wishes of the people and the state government.

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