Another committee for RIIN formed at consultative meeting

Another committee for RIIN formed at consultative meeting
Participants at the consultative meeting on RIIN, Friday. (DIPR)
Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 16 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/16/2021 1:05:16 PM IST

After the day-long consultative meeting convened by the state government on implementation of the government’s Register of Indigenous Inhabitant of Nagaland (RIIN) with all tribal hohos of the state at the Chief Minister’s Residential Office here Saturday, it was decided to constitute the Joint Consultative Committee JCC) at the state level and a Subcommittee at the district level.

Briefing media persons at the New Secretariat here, Adviser IT&C, Science & Technology, NER, Mmhonlumo Kikon disclosed that the JCC will be headed by the Home Commissioner and Commissioner Nagaland as member-secretary and representatives from Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation, Central Nagaland Tribes Council and Tenyimi People’s Organisation. At the district level, the sub-committee will be headed by respective deputy commissioners as convenors and representatives of tribal hohos of the respective districts. The meeting also decided to leave open opportunities for Nagaland Garo Tribal Council, Kuki Inpi, etc, as co-opted members.

Kikon said the government will be shortly issuing a notification after which JCC would operate at the state and district levels for all purposes pertaining to RIIN and any matter relating to it. 

He said JCC would cease to exist once the RIIN issue was resolved and policy put in place and tabled in the Assembly for adoption. DIPR in its report informed that all tribal hohos at the meeting insisted that the report of Banuo Z Jamir commission’s report should be made known to the public before implementation.

When asked why Joint Committee for Prevention of Illegal Immigrants, which has spearheaded ILP and RIIN, was not invited to the consultative meeting, Kikon explained that there was no direct communication with it but it would be consulted at a later stage when needed.

He also said since there was no specific issue as the government only wanted to hold “a deeper consultation and direct engagement with all tribal hohos”. 

Kikon also opined that if such a sensitive issue as RIIN was not handled properly, then it could invite future litigation and so the state government had to go through it properly.

 Kikon said once the government was satisfied that everything was ready, then it would engage JCPI at an appropriate level and assured that all would be part of any decision in giving RIIN a final shape.

 Claiming that the Friday’s meet was very positive, Kikon said as the issue was very sensitive, more consultations would be held in future.

 When asked if other issues such as SARFAESI Act and election to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) were discussed as these also required support of tribal hohos etc, planning & co-ordination minister Neiba Kronu told media persons that the government took the advantage of the consultative meet and briefed them about other political developments

 Kronu said as the issue of land reforms involved all tribal hoho leaders, their consent was required since land belong to the people. He said unless the leaders knew the context and intention of the issue, problems could arise later.

On why the government did not share the report of the Banuo Commission on RIIN with tribal hohos, Kronu said the government provided a gist of the report which would later be shared so as to enable the tribal hohos to could study the report and comeback for unanimous decision.

Adding to it, Kikon revealed that the commission’s report was based on interviews of various tribal hoho leaders conducted by the panel and it was a compilation of all submissions made by various tribal hohos.

However, Kikon said the Banuo Commission report would have to go through various processes though its salient features were shared with the tribal hohos to understand the background. 

Speaking to media persons, ENPO president Sashi Naga and general secretary Manlan Phom however claimed even though the government had sought suggestions on RIIN, the tribal hohos had seen the commission’s report yet. The two said ENPO will give its opinions only after the government shared the report. 

Rio bats for law to protect citizens of other States

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio in his keynote address at the Consultative meeting pointed out that the state has the legitimate rights to formulate its own laws and regulations in the interests of its people in pursuance of the 16 Point Agreement which formed the basis for creation of Nagaland as a state. He said such councils were therefore legal and mandated by the Act under the constitution of India, DIPR report said.
While emphasising that ILP should be introduced in Dimapur district, he however said there were inherent problems since Dimapur was a metropolitan City. Therefore, there was a need to formulate a law to protect not only Nagas but also people of other states. He said people of other states cannot be harassed while “working on the system of RIN or implementing the Act’. 
Rio took the stand that while identification of indigenous people of Nagas of Nagaland was not a problem as much as it was with regard to identification of Nagas of Nagaland in other states. In this, he cited the cases in Sikkim, Tripura and Assam where indigenous people have become minorities in their own states. 
Rio also suggested forming a groups at the state and district levels. At state level it would comprise of apex tribal hohos and at district level it could comprise of respective tribal hohos and MLAs. 
Dy CM: Deputy CM, Y. Patton reiterated that RIIN was to strengthen the entire process of identifying indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland. 
On the issue of ULBs he said the state government was obligated under constitution to adopt the new system which is reflected in the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001. He said ULBs were created with aims and objectives to facilitate sustainable growth and to establish conducive urban governance as administrative headquarters like Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung have experienced rapid urbanization.

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