Kohima, April 16 (NEx): The Consultative meeting with Civil Society Organisations and Tribal Hohos on Register for Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) was held at the Chief Minister’s Residential Complex on April 16th, 2021.
The Chief Minister Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio while delivering the keynote address appreciated the efforts of the NPF party led by Opposition leader, T. R. Zeliang for vigorously pursuing the matter with the ruling government leaving aside their differences. He said the state of Nagaland came into being in pursuance of the 16th point Agreement. As such, the state has the legitimate right to formulate its own laws and regulations for the interest and protection of its citizens. He said each tribe shall have its own Village, Regional and Tribal Councils in order to deal with issues pertaining to violating of customary laws and usages. He also added that such councils are legal and mandated by the Constitution by an Act.
On ILP issue, Rio said it should be introduced in Dimapur district after considering the difficulties and problems of the district, Dimapur being a metropolitan city. In this regard, he mooted the idea of formulating a law which protects not only the Nagas but also the citizens of other states. “We cannot harass the citizens of any other Indian while working on the system of RIIN or implementing the Act”, he clearly stated. He said identification of indigenous people amongst Nagas of Nagaland is not a problem due to involvement of village council but identification of indigenous Nagas in other states is a problem, citing the examples of Sikkim, Tripura and Assam where the indigenous people have now become a minority in their own states.
Rio also suggested formation of a smaller group to work on the issue having state and district level committee comprising of apex bodies like ENPO, TPO and CNTC at the state level, and tribal hohos and MLAs at the district level. The committee is mainly for the compilation of customary laws and usages and adjudication of disputes.
Opposition leader, T. R. Zeliang in his speech highlighted the progress and current position of the Naga Political Issue after meeting the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah. The Union Home Minister in his meeting with the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Leader of Opposition, Ministers and Advisors said “There cannot be any compromise on the issue of Constitution and the Flag” Zeliang said. On the other hand, Zeliang also told the Union Home Minister that “unless the Naga political issue is solved, the Naga society to move ahead for progress and development is not possible”.
Zeliang said “It is the ardent prayer and desire of the NPF party to work together with the government of the day when it comes to Naga political issue”. He also stressed on the importance of working together leaving aside party colours on the issue of Naga political, and called upon all the right thinking citizens including the CSOs to give a concerted effort on this issue.
Deputy Chief Minister, Y. Patton said that the issue of RIIN is to strengthen the entire process for issue of indigenous inhabitant certificate to protect the rights and privileges of indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland. On urban local bodies, he said Nagaland government is under the constitutional obligation to adopt the new system of municipalities in accordance with provision of the act, because of which, the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 came into force.
Due to rapid urbanisation in Nagaland, ULBs were created with aims and objectives to facilitate sustainable growth and to establish conducive urban governance. The administrative headquarters like Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung have experienced more urbanization. This growth is aided by steady improvement in transport network in the state, he said.
Minister of Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue, Neiba Kronu in his speech stressed on the importance of working together as a team irrespective of party affiliations. On the issue of SARFAESI Act, he reiterated on the importance of banks for growth and development of educated unemployed youths in the state. “Unless we work together with the banks how can we progress”, Kronu added. He also added that Banks will never come forward unless we mortgage our lands.
During the Consultative meeting, the tribal Hohos took a collective decision to go for RIIN but insisted that Banuo Z. Jamir’s report be made known to the general public before implementation.
Advisor IT& C, Science & Technology, NRE, Mmhonlumo Kikon who chaired the programme gave the introductory remarks and welcome address during the Consultative meeting.
In a press briefing, he said the decision to form a Joint Consultative Committee on RIIN headed by the Nagaland Home Commissioner, Nagaland as the Member Secretary and representatives from CNTC, ENPO and TPO as Members in the State level was taken during the consultative meeting on RIIN today.
(With inputs from DIPR)