Thursday, October 6, 2022

Peren CSOs on inter-district boundary demarcation

Peren district civil society organizations (CSOs) and landowners have sought to make the “declaration of final stand” of Peren district on demarcation of inter-district boundary to the state government.
In a joint representation to the chief minister, the CSOs stated that inter-district boundary demarcation between Peren district and then Dimapur and now Chümoukedima district had been long due since the creation of Dimapur and Peren districts from undivided Kohima district.
They sought to put on record that there was never any dispute on boundary between “traditional land owner tribes of Zeliang and Chakhro Angami till today.” However, they alleged that the “coming of non-traditional Naga tribe from far away Zunheboto and the accord of customary shelter in our traditional land in good faith in the early part of 20th century” created disputes in the said belt of land.
According to the CSOs, the contention of Western Sumi Hoho as “the ancestral owner of the land distinctly belie all history of the Naga Tribes.”
They said Zeliang tribe on its part was “not against any tribe(s) who advocate peaceful co-existence among communities in prospering together in our God given ancestral land.”
Believing in the reality of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence, the CSOs said they reached out to Western sumi villages in September 2020 to live and prosper together by acknowledging each other in the spirit of brotherhood. However, they said that it was “unfortunately turned down” by those villages at a joint meeting at Thahekhu village on February 10, 2021.
The CSOs said the efforts in setting up Ezung Committee in 2003 and the recently formed Cabinet Sub-Committee in 2019 to settle the boundary demarcation “lacked sincerity and political will as political manoeuvring overrode facts and realities.”
They said the CSC was formed for the specific purpose of resolving the long-standing boundary dispute, but the government seemed “unwilling” to implement the studied recommendation of CSC. However, CSOs said they “reluctantly” agreed to accept “as rationalized by the government as compromise formula solely for administrative convenience.”
They said the “unwillingness” was evident from the June 3, 2022 notification and “subsequent concession to the diktat and political coercion.”
The CSOs, therefore, said they would not compromise for anything other than the agreed traditional boundary between Zeliang and Chakhro Angami tribes.
While extending full support to creation of Chümoukedima district from Dimapur, the CSOs, however, said “dictating the government by a particular tribe to set inter-district boundary only for their community convenience as bargaining ploy” to join the newly created Chümoukedima district was “nothing but political blackmailing.” They said any state government decision/notification “resulting out of such blackmail” would not be accepted if it involved the ancestral land of Zeliang in Peren district. They said Peren citizens had full faith on the state government to propagate the spirit of peaceful co-existence among communities along this belt.
However, CSOs alleged that since the state government’s decision was based only to “please
a particular community”, the government should “evict all illegal unrecognized villages from the traditional land of Lamhai and Jalukie before any inter-district boundary demarcation is undertaken” and that such villages should no longer be reflected in any future notification and documentation (Census) by the state government.
The CSOs asked the state government to consider “these facts and realities” if its intention was for solving the problem. Failure to do so, the CSOs cautioned that the government would be held responsible “for development of any situation in future as our ancestral right cannot be bartered for any political interest of any government.”
The joint statement was issued by NZPO president Kevipele Iheilung, Zeliangrong Baudi (N) president CR Zeliang, Kuki Inpi vice president Seijalam Hangsing, Zeme Council president Dr. Tumda Newme, Liangmai Council president Khenglubo, Peren district village council chairman union president Hainkieng Hiekha, Peren district GB association vice president Irangdaung, Lamhai village council chairman Haibamko, Kuki GBs union chairman Thanghen Sitlhou and Jalukie Pumling Nko chairman Kumui Nring.