Flak on PIL against ILP in Dimapur

Correspondent/Staff Reporter KOHIMA/DIMAPUR, JUN 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/24/2019 11:58:32 AM IST

There has been strong reactions from various organisations against the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in Supreme Court, seeking protection of non-Nagas residing in Dimapur; while the State government was likely to hold consultations with the advocate general before taking steps to address the matter.

 It may be recalled that BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had filed the PIL in the apex court challenging certain sections of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 that gives unbridled power to a State to implement Inner Line Permit (ILP).

When contacted, a senior government official from the Home department informed Nagaland Post that the government had not received any notice from the Supreme Court yet. He said the government would hold legal consultations when it receives the notice and will then act accordingly.

WSH says PIL ploy to let SC remove Art. 371(A): Western Sumi Hoho (WSH) has condemned that Public Interest litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in the Supreme Court, against certain sections of BEFR Act of 1873. 

WSH president Dr. K. Zhimomi in a release , said the PIL has not only sent a wrong signal to outsiders, but that it was a “direct challenge to the people of Nagaland and our very own existence” that serve as a ploy to make the Supreme Court remove Article 371(A). 

 “If Updhayay says BEFR is a colonial era regulation, then he should also ask for scrapping for Cr.PC, Sedition etc. which are all archaic laws inherited from the British era,” Zhimomi pointed out. Zhimomi has therefore, appealed to all Nagas, to “rise up unitedly against such diabolic designs with sinister intention” to take away the inherent rights and privileges of Nagas. 

He reminded that Nagas’ hospitability was exceptional and outstanding and also admired the world over. However, he warned that trying to take undue advantage of the Naga people’s “docile and generous nature” may invite serious repercussions. 

On the claims that Dimapur was never part of Nagaland when it attained statehood, Zhimomi described it as “a figment of imagination and complete distortion of historical facts”. He maintained that ILP was still very relevant in the present times as it was a tool to safeguard and protect tribals and Nagas from being reduced to a minority in their own land. 

Zhimomi reminded that Nagaland state was created under the 16 Point Agreement Article, with a special and unique constitutional provision of Art. 371 (A), which was “ purchased by the blood, sweat and tears of our leaders.” 

He reminded that under the purview of the statehood granted to Nagaland, non-Nagas except those who settled prior to 1963, have no right to possess immovable properties. 

Zhimomi however lamented that Nagas’ hospitability and complacent nature has been taken for granted by some people.

No compromise on ILP, says NSF: Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) president Ninoto Awomi said NSF had no idea on what ground the PIL was filed. He however reiterated that NSF’s stand was clear, that Dimapur district should be brought under the purview of the ILP. Awomi also said NSF has taken a serious note of the PIL and reaffirmed its demand that ILP should be extended to Dimapur district with firm determination not to compromise on the ILP issue at any cost.

Meanwhile, it was also learnt that top state BJP leaders are likely to meet on June 25 to discuss this issue as the petition was filed by a “BJP leader”.

NH questions intention of BJP leader:  Naga Hoho has expressed “astonishment” over the report that one Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay of the BJP had filed the PIL in Supreme Court seeking protection of non-Nagas, particularly at Dimapur. 

NH communication Cell, has questioned the motive of Upadhyay and what had actually prompted him to go to the extent of filing a petition in the apex court. NH said if Upadhyay had any apprehension on ILP, he could have addressed it to the State government “or any other appropriate forum” to clear his doubts, instead of going to the court of law. 

NH said this clearly showed that Upadhyay had some mala fide intention to malign the Nagas and which could not be easily absolved. 

NH said the petitioner had painted Nagas as racist which was something that it could not tolerate. 

Further the NH reminded Upadhyay that unlike other States in India, Nagaland was created out of a political agreement and that Dimapur came within the purview of the new State created in 1963. However, NH maintained that creation of Nagaland was not the final solution to the Naga political issue and therefore peace process and talks between the Government of India and Naga national workers were still going on to find an honourable solution to the vexed Indo-Naga political issue. 

The hoho, therefore, urged Upadhyay to withdraw his PIL without delay.

NH Reacts to Imna Along’s remark

Meanwhile, NH said it took strong exception to the speech of minister of Higher & Technical Education Temjen Imna Along who had purportedly stated that he wanted to see non-Nagas in the state assembly and that “Nagas will stand up and live with India” at a recent felicitation programme on Sunday. 

NH wondered whether Along really meant it and whether he knew the Naga political history and struggle or was his speech just to please his political bosses in Delhi. 

NH noted that Along of late, had been making remarks having far-reaching consequences for the future Naga generations and warned that he alone would be solely held responsible in such turn of events. 

Further, NH also asked if Nagas got opportunity to be in state assemblies in UP or Bihar or any other State and asked Along not to finish the Naga political history and the young generation in lieu of his chair and power.

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