PIL: WC asks govt to respond; cautions state BJP

DIMAPUR, JUN 25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/25/2019 11:51:16 AM IST

Reacting to the PIL filed by a BJP leader in Supreme Court seeking protection of non-Nagas in Dimapur, Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has questioned the State BJP leadership on the issue and also demanded that the state government inform the court on political negotiations between NNPGs and Government of India (GoI). 

Expressing vehement opposition against the PIL, the WC observed BJP State unit should have issued an advisory to the party’s national leadership on the bearing of the PIL at this crucial juncture when the negotiations between GoI and NNPGs were nearing the final phase. WC also maintained that the state BJP leadership was duty-bound to understand the consequences of such a “politically-driven move” and on the discontent and conflicts that would follow in Naga society. WC said it was led to believe that the PIL was an outcome of political interests of BJP Nagaland State unit to reduce the status of Nagas as ordinary Indian citizens.

It also pointed out that state BJP leaders and PDA including NDPP, who were in New Delhi recently, cannot feign ignorance on such a “disastrous” political move by a prominent BJP leader which was also not an independent decision of the petitioner. WC reminded that “Nagaland is the only federal unit in the history of free India, carved out as a separate political entity and to have a Government without any Act of the Parliament of India”. It maintained that Nagaland came into effect on the of February 18, 1961, with the Council of Naga Tribal representatives. 

WC said if Nagas were brought under the ambit of any other constitutional provisions, it will be a political suicide and that “Nagaland BJP alone will be liable for all the consequences and accountable to the Nagas.” 

WC also maintained that Nagaland had not adopted any law or Act over which a PIL could be filed before a court of law and so the petitioner had no locus standi on the matter. It wondered how the petitioner could stand for the non-Nagas of Dimapur?

WC asserted that “such undue intervention in the internal affairs of Nagas” would not be tolerated and disclosed that the same advocate who had filed PIL against Article 370 has now dragged Article 371(A) to the court. WC reiterated that it was a well-laid principle of Parliament of India that Nagaland Acts were not laws, but “legitimisation” of an agreement made outside the premises of both Houses of Parliament between the government of India and Nagas. It pointed out that Article 371(A) and its predecessor, the Government of India Act, 1937 had survived over Article 21 of the constitution. WC said conflict of political interests should not be created and BJP Nagaland cannot wash off its hands over such “political excesses” by its national leaders. 

WC noted that BJP unit and its coalition partners of NDPP, will have to rectify the matter and if any conflict of law or constitutional provision arose between the government of India and Nagaland, then it should not be decided by the judiciary, but sorted out during the political negotiations. 

WC also said the state government was duty-bound to apprise all relevant courts on the ongoing political negotiations between government of India and NNPGs and only when political and constitutional matters were subject to negotiations, then the judiciary would have to be taken into confidence so that there were no roadblocks in the political process. 

TSUD shocked, appalled

Tenyimi Students’ Union Dimapur (TSUD) said it was shocked and appalled by the PIL filled by one Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, who is not even a resident of Dimapur nor maybe have even visited Dimapur, for demanding protection of non-Nagas residing in Dimapur

TSUD president Rukewezo Wetsah pointed out that Dimapur has been hailed as a “haven” for illegal immigrants and the indigenous community has every right to appeal to the authorities or the government to ensure that they are put in check.

Rebutting claims made by Upadhyay that most businessmen in Dimapur had closed their businesses due to ILP, TSUD said it is nothing short of a concocted lie, with malafide intention to tarnish the image of the Nagas.

TSUD further pointed out that nowhere in the country have they seen any local organization headed by a non-local. But in Dimapur, TSUD cited the example of DCCI, a premier business body in Nagaland, where non-locals have majority of members.

“The non-locals have always enjoyed our hospitality and we have so far been living in harmony. Nagas are known for our hospitality and we will always remain so,” TSUD stated.

Referring to Higher & Tech. Education minister, Imna Along’s speech at a function in Dimapur, wherein the latter had stated that he wished to see a non-Naga being elected from the unreserved seat in Dimapur, TSUD said such was the accommodative spirit of the Nagas.

In this regard, TSUD hoped that the non-Nagas of Dimapur will rise up and give a befitting reply to Uphadhyay, “who has ill intention to divide our decades old friendship and crush the bond of faith and trust that we always have amongst us, with a concocted petition.”


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