Kohima, Feb 10: The Government of Nagaland has appealed the Nagaland Gaon Burhas’ Federation (NGBF), civil society organizations and NGOs to reconsider the tomorrow’s bandh call in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016.
According to press statement issued by Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy, he said the concern and apprehension of the Naga civil organizations over the Bill is shared by the Government and that it stands with the people on this issue. Reiterating the resolution adopted in the Consultative Meeting held on January 31, Toy reminded that in response to the will and desire of the people, the Meeting unanimously resolved to oppose the Bill and outrightly rejected its implementation in Nagaland.
The Meeting had expressed its solidarity with the rest of the North-Eastern States, all of whom have expressed serious concerns on the CAB in order to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people of the region.
The Chief Secretary said that no non-indigenous person can claim rights and privileges in Nagaland as the state stand protected under the provisions of Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) mechanism as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 which has been reaffirmed as Clause 16 of the 16 Point Agreement.
It also claimed that Article 371 (A) ensures that citizens of India, or any non Nagas who are not indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland, cannot acquire property or settle down in Nagaland. Thus, any person who acquires Indian citizenship through the amended Bill will be ineligible for acquiring property or settling down in Nagaland as any other non-Nagas including Indian citizens are presently. The Meeting had also resolved that the Nagaland Assembly should discuss and to enforce ILP regulations all over the State including Dimapur district.
The Chief Secretary meanwhile informed that the Budget Session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly has been convened on February 21 and the issue of CAB will be deliberated by the Assembly and the government will propose adoption of a resolution as decided in the Consultative Meeting held on January 31, 2019. He urged all concerned to bear in mind that it is also the time for examinations for students who may need to travel for classes and examinations. It therefore asserted that a bandh at this time will adversely impact them.
In view of this, and “especially when all are united and very clear in the resolve to protect the interests of the State,” the Nagaland Government has appealed to the NGBF and NGOs to reconsider the bandh call on February 11 and instead voice opposition to the Bill unitedly in a democratic manner, the statement said. (UNI)