Centre’s J&K move sparks fear in Mizoram

Aizawl/Agartala, Aug 5 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/5/2019 11:47:03 AM IST

The abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, raised apprehensions in Mizoram on Monday, with academicians and politicians fearing that the NDA government might scrap next the special provisions that protect the interests of the state’s indigenous people.

Article 371 G of the Constitution states that the Parliament cannot decide on the matters of the religious and social practices of the Mizos, civil and criminal law of the land, land ownership transfer, and customary law procedure without the consent of the Assembly.

The provision came into effect in 1986 following the signing of the historic Mizo Accord between the Centre and the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF). Mizoram, then a Union territory, was granted the status of full-fledged statehood on February 20, 1987.

Lallianchhunga, assistant professor of the political science department in the Mizoram University, alleged that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government had been violating the federal spirits of the Constitution and moving towards a “unitary government”.

“The Centre, in the name of economic development and internal security, may soon target the northeastern states with special provisions and statutes,” he said.

Riachho, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, said the Centre did not honour the Instrument of Accession signed on October 26, 1947, by Hari Singh, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the IAS officer, it seemed that the Article 371 G in Mizoram might also come under danger.

Newly-floated political party People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) also condemned the Centre’s move, saying the “northeastern states were no longer safe in the hands of the NDA government”.

The Centre had on Monday revoked Article 370 and proposed that the Jammu and Kashmir be bifurcated into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

IPFT opposes scraping of Article 370
The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the junior ally of the BJP-led Tripura government, on Monday opposed Union Home Minister Amit Shahs proposal seeking to scrap Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Tripura’s oldest non-Left tribal-based party, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), also opposed Union Home Minister’s proposal to revoke Article 370.
“We strongly oppose Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposal seeking to axe Article 370 of the Constitution,” IPFT President and Tripura’s Revenue and Fisheries Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma told IANS.
He said: “The IPFT always wants to continue both Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitutions to accord special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. We want to maintain the status-quo on both the important provisions of the constitutions.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday proposed to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and said that the state will be split into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one. 
Debbarma said that they would soon write a letter to the Central government not to knife Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution.
The IPFT, a tribal-based local party, has been agitating since 2009 for a separate state to be carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which has jurisdiction of over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km area, home to over 12,16,000 people.
IPFT, which had forged an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the February 2018 Assembly polls, has two ministers in the 8-member council of ministry headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and has eight legislators in the 60-member state Assembly. 

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