NSF threatens stir if PIL not withdrawn

DIMAPUR, JUN 26 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/26/2019 11:35:05 AM IST

Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has threatened to initiate State-wide democratic movement if the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a vested interest group before Supreme Court (SC) was not withdrawn.

In a statement issued by its president Ninoto Awomi and vice-president Dievi Yano, the federation alleged that the vested interest group was harming the image of Nagas and could become an inconvenience for all. 

Contending that the allegation contained in the PIL and made available to media had projected Nagas in a very poor light, NSF said it was greatly offended and hurt by the PIL, adding that it was an open secret that some vested interest groups had misled BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay with the sole intention to hurt the good image of Nagas and promote anti-Naga feelings outside Nagaland.

Stating that it was deeply disturbed by the accusation of racial discrimination levelled against the Nagas, NSF pointed out that there was no perfect society and declared that “in terms of receiving good treatment, the Naga society in comparison to other societies treats everyone with respect”. This was borne out by the fact that non-Nagas controlled the entire market of the State, it added.

NSF said it had also taken serious offence to the claim that many businesses had closed down and left Dimapur. Mentioning that such false claim was being made with the sole intention of spreading a feeling of hatred towards Nagas, the federation declared that it would not tolerate such false claim and accusation. 

Pointing out that settlement of land between locals and non-locals was a policy matter of the State government and practised since long, the federation said it was not a new issue that would crop up on introduction of ILP in Dimapur. 

It quoted a land revenue department notification (no. LR/16/73, dated Kohima, the 22nd April 1976) that reads: “The question of settlement of land with non-locals and non-Nagas was discussed at length. It was decided that all cases for settlement of land with non-locals and non-Nagas will have to be referred to the Government with their recommendation of the authorities concerned and each individual case has to be examined on its own merit and approval by the State Government prior to granting such settlement will have to be taken”. 

The federation alleged that the ILP issue was only an excuse on the part of those with an ulterior motive to mislead the apex court.

Accusing Upadhyay of misleading the court that Dimapur was not a part of Nagaland when the State was created and that it was excluded from Sixth Schedule, NSF said Naga Hoho had given a befitting reply that Dimapur had always been part of Nagaland. It also dismissed the allegation that Nagas were new settlers in Dimapur and that they were attempting to control and create a monopoly of trade and commerce, adding it was an insult that all Nagas had taken to their heart.

Claiming that Nagaland had always acknowledged the non-Nagas who took residence in Dimapur prior to statehood and had even given them the status of non-Naga indigenous inhabitants, the federation alleged that few people with vested interest were behind the present PIL, fearing that they would be exposed for their illegal activities.

Mentioning that influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, in addition to other illegal immigrants, was one of the biggest challenges faced by the Nagas, the federation said it was posing a major threat in maintenance of law & order, a security threat to the country and the State and abnormally affecting the economy of Nagas as these people indulge in illegal trades. 

To control the illegal immigrants, the federation said it was long felt that the State government should impose ILP in Dimapur too, adding it was fully behind the government in the present initiative. 

“The imposition of ILP in Dimapur will not only help the Nagas, but also all non-Naga residents of Dimapur,” it claimed.

NSF asserted that it was fully within the domain of the State government whether to extend ILP to Dimapur or not, claiming that the fear was limited to only those indulging in illegal activities without proper identity. 

Terming the decision to impose ILP in Dimapur as outrageous, NSF said the State government was yet to frame modalities on how to implement. There would be wide-ranging consultations with the citizens of Dimapur, both local and non-local alike, where the interest and genuine concern of all would be taken into account, it added. 

NSF said it had taken seriously the bid to project the proposed ILP extension as a draconian law because the pain and hardship of Nagas were still fresh in the minds of all. 

Further claiming that, unlike Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland had been too lenient and careless in implementing ILP, NSF also assured all non-Nagas (Indians) who were genuine inhabitants of Dimapur its full support and protection. The genuine Indian non-locals residing in Dimapur should have no fear whatsoever as their interests would be fully protected by law, it added. 

“It is a reasonable move for any State to protect its own interest while also protecting the interests of non-locals, including foreigners. What the vested interest must keep in mind is that unlike other States, the State of Nagaland has been created under a special provision of the constitution through a political agreement. The State cannot be branded in the same category of others,” the statement stressed.

The federation reiterated that it was firmly behind the State government on introducing ILP in Dimapur, asserting that it would not remain a mute spectator in case of any eventuality. 

Hoping the vested interest group would withdraw its PIL built on “falsehood, misrepresentation and ulterior motive” and with the sole intention to mislead SC by projecting the Nagas in a very poor light, NSF warned that should there be any hatred towards the Nagas in any part of India, the group would be held solely responsible.



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